Nearly a third of women working in strip clubs are students, often from middle-class families, says a new study.
And some started stripping even before starting their courses to help pay for the “high cost of education”, according to the study published in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.
“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,” the study said.
“Even before beginning university, some dancers prepared for the high cost of higher education by starting dancing beforehand.
“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.”
Academics at Leeds University interviewed nearly 200 dancers working in the UK and 29 per cent of them were in some form of education.
Students had become a “core supply group” for strip club dancers and one city with two universities had 12 strip clubs.
There was “definite tension between the 'old school' dancers who were there to earn good money and the new, inexperienced younger women who had a range of motives for entering stripping“, the study added.
Sociologist Teela Sanders told the Times Higher Education magazine that some saw themselves as “dancers, not sex workers” because “selling striptease had become more palatable and socially acceptable.”
He added that the 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.