Called ‘Supporting students impacted by the sex industry: A handbook for universities’, this handbook sets out a holistic and comprehensive approach to university policy around the sex industry and how best to support students who have been impacted by it.

“This is, unfortunately, a very timely, necessary and probably life-saving handbook. For any student thinking of getting involved in the so-called sex industry, read this handbook first. For any university staff thinking of encouraging their students to get involved in this form of coercive exploitation, read it twice.”

– Peter Jenkins, higher education student counsellor.

Download the handbook

Buy a printed copy of the handbook

You can buy a printed copy of the handbook (shipping to UK addresses only). Printed copies are £10 including post and packing or £5 for students using the discount code: student-01.

Outline

Here we provide an outline of the handbook with links to each chapter as a separate article.

Foreword. Foreword by Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI, De Montfort University. Read more…

1. Introduction. What the handbook is about, why it was developed, and what we hope it will achieve. Read more…

2. Why now? Why is student involvement in the sex industry an issue at this moment in time? What are the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have brought this about? How have these forces impacted young people and made them vulnerable to being drawn into the sex industry or becoming consumers of it? Read more…

3. University policy & codes of behaviour. Students are a particularly vulnerable group and universities have a duty to help them safely navigate the trends outlined in the previous chapter. The overarching aim should be that no student has to resort to the sex industry because of a lack of other options. Any policy around the sex industry should be considered an integral part of the wider response to combating sexism and sexual harassment and abuse in the university community. Recommendations include ensuring students involved in the sex industry are not penalised and explicitly defining some sex industry-related behaviours (such as encouraging or coercing someone into the sex industry) as breaches of the university code of conduct. Read more…

4. What are we talking about when we talk of the sex industry? Provides a realistic picture, sometimes in harrowing detail, of the sex industry in the UK, its various manifestations, business models, and risks. What is it really like and how does it affect you – physically, mentally, psychologically and socially? How the sex industry is profoundly racist and an intrinsic part of the structural oppression of women, why so many women get stuck in the industry, and particular implications for men. Read more…

5. A holistic approach to student financial hardship. Challenges the trope that getting involved in the sex industry makes financial sense. and shows that there are many potential negative long-term implications to involvement in the sex industry that are generally unrecognised. Recommendations include universities ensuring that students have viable alternatives and financial and budgeting education, and promoting less materialistic and more environmentally responsible lifestyles. Read more…

6. Supporting students. Advice and guidance on supporting students who are already involved in the sex industry and those who are struggling to kick a porn or sex buying habit, starting with background information about the general challenges and followed by more detailed guidance. Read more…

7. Combatting sexism & supporting healthy relationships. Efforts to bring about positive change on university campuses in respect to sexist attitudes and behaviour are doomed to failure unless educational programmes directly address the sex industry and porn consumption. Suggestions about how to think about such programmes and ideas about what they should cover. Read more…

8. Legal matters. An introduction to the Public Sector Equality Duty and why it is particularly relevant to any policy or programme that relates to the sex industry. Recommendations include a list of questions that universities need to ask. This is followed by a brief overview of the law relating to the sex industry in England and Wales, and obligations under international law. Read more…

9. The last word. A message from Andrea Heinz, a Canadian woman who became involved in prostitution at the age of 22 when she was burdened by debt. Read more…

10. Resources. Lists the types of services that students might need and that universities need to ensure they have access to. Read more…

Endorsements

A number of sex trade survivors and professionals have formally endorsed the handbook. Read what they said…

Training

If your institution requires training in this approach, please email us at nordicmodelnow@gmail.com and put Training inquiry in the subject line.

Petition

If you are concerned about the approach being promoted by the University of Leicester, please sign our petition.

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