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Students who are strapped with tons of student debt and who are unable to find employment in this scarce economy are opting to do the unthinkable….

Written by: Deltonia N. Shropshire, MA

In her profile on the site, Taylor describes herself as “a full-time college student studying psychology and looking to meet someone to help pay the bills.” Photos on the site show her in revealing outfits, a mane of caramel-colored hair framing her face. But unlike other dating sites, where a user might also list preferred hobbies or desired traits, Taylor instead indicates preferences for a “sugar daddy” and an “arrangement” in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

Saddled with piles of student debt and a job-scarce, lackluster economy, current college students and recent graduates are selling themselves to pursue a diploma or pay down their loans. An increasing number, according to the the owners of websites that broker such hook-ups, have taken to the web in search of online suitors or wealthy benefactors who, in exchange for sex, companionship, or both, might help with the bills.

Historically, women and men have “danced” their way through college. Now a side hustle has taken on a whole new meaning. Young people are resorting to prostitution to pay their bills. They strike an “arrangement” online with potential “Sugar Daddies”, who agree to pay off debt and other bills in exchange for sexual favors. There are high profile “pimps” that capitalize off of the young people in dire straits. Businesses have been created on the backs (literally) of these students paying any price to ensure that their future is brighter than today.

The new term affords the workers the psychological positive distinction that almost, makes the circumstance bearable.

In this social adaptation scenario, the psychological effects of having to partake in this type of behavior to produce a desired result may in fact condition the students to believe that this type of activity is a viable option whenever there is a financial crisis in their lives. The ramifications of this alternative will be significant and long lasting not only on the ones partaking in the activity but to those children and loved ones that are affiliated to them.

The same pattern has been seen time and time again in those who have forgone integrity to survive (e.g., strippers of the past, women in slavery who were forced to become sexual servants to save their other family members, and boys who were “taken” and subsequently used by an attacker with the fear that the attacker would hurt the boys family). Though the situations posed as examples are different-the psychological impacts are definitely similar.

How will/can this impact our society?

How will this activity that was fostered by economic falter-invariably impact the people who are actively seeking these measures to rectify debts/loans? How will/can it impact later generations?

Is this behavior a cry for help? What can be done to stop it?

Is it good for the economy?

Why aren’t students opting to sell art, music, clothes that they make or any other product?

Why is selling one’s body the ONLY viable option, for some?