London: A third of strip club dancers in the UK are students who are increasingly likely to come from middle-class families, a new study has found. A number of students are working as strip club dancers to help fund their studies or because they find it exciting, researchers said.
Researchers from the University of Leeds interviewed about 200 dancers in towns and cities across
the UK. They found many of the students using the cash earned from stripping to support themselves throughout their studies. “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.”
However, many students did not seem to be motivated by the potentially high financial gains of the industry, having come from fairly affluent backgrounds, said Teela Sanders, who co-authored the study. “Many of these dancers are from middleclass backgrounds — they are not coming from families where money is a big issue,” Sanders told Times Higher Education.
Sanders said a number of the students saw themselves as “dancers, not sex workers” because “selling striptease had become more palatable and socially acceptable.” “They enjoyed dressing up to go out and many say it wasn’t too different to heading out on a night out,” Sanders added. There was a 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, researchers said. The study was published by the British Journal of Sociology of Education.
The study said that the core reasons for entry into stripping by students from middle-class families were the exorbitant cost of higher education, the lack of availability of loans and support for vocational courses. Stripping gives the flexibility to combine work with the demands of educational courses, it said