I was appalled to read some of the reader comments at the Chronicle of Higher Ed to a news wire story about books by two of the estimated 40,000 students in France who may have turned to sex work to finance their educations (as a result of a steady turn toward the U.S. model of higher ed).

All across the planet, but especially where the U.S. model is explicitly being instituted, the massive shift of education costs to those with the least resources has increased exploitation in the service economy for nearly all students. The production of sex workers is facilitated by the same forces that produce cheap student labor in food service, child care, internships, etc. Increasingly these exploitative arrangements are presented as “financial aid,” with the eager cooperation of governments and administration.

The real question isn’t, “Why are students becoming sex workers?” We know the answer to that. The question is: “When are we going to stop pimping our youth to loan vendors and low-wage employers?”






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