Students stripping 'to pay fees'

A number of students are working as strip club dancers to help fund their studies or because they find it exciting, according to research.

Some of the students saw themselves as 'dancers, not sex workers', the study reported
Some of the students saw themselves as 'dancers, not sex workers', the study reported

The study suggests that nearly a third of those working in strip clubs are students and often come from middle-class families.

The small-scale survey, by academics at Leeds University, is based on interviews with nearly 200 dancers working in the UK.

Study author Teela Sanders, a reader in sociology, told the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine that some of the students interviewed said they saw themselves as "dancers, not sex workers" because "selling striptease had become more palatable and socially acceptable".

In total, a third (29.4%) of the dancers questioned were in some form of education and considered students.

The study, published by the British Journal of Sociology of Education, said: "The core reasons for entry into stripping by students were the high cost of higher education, the lack of availability of loans and support for vocational courses and the ability to combine stripping work with the demands of educational courses, due to the flexibility it offered.

"Even before beginning university, some dancers prepared for the high cost of higher education by starting dancing beforehand."

It also said: "Students often started dancing with friends as a joint venture, drawn in by the initial excitement of engaging in a transgressive world, and the prospect of earning cash in hand on the night was considered a bonus."

Dr Sanders told the THE that students' motivation for finding work as strip club dancers was not always financial.

"Many of these dancers are from middle-class backgrounds - they are not coming from families where money is a big issue," he said.

The study, which was looking at whether higher tuition fees were leading to more students working in strip clubs, found that more research was needed before conclusions could be made.