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Sex Work Among Medical Students On the Rise?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Sex work among medical students is on the rise, claims a new editorial published in the journal Student BMJ.

The U.K.-based publication noted that students are likely seeking extreme measures to deal with their financial hardship.  One in 10 students knows of another who participated in prostitution to pay their medical student loans, according to the editorial.

"Mounting evidence suggests that more university students are engaging in prostitution as a means to pay increasing tuition fees, growing debts, and high living costs," Jodi Dixon, the author of the editorial, wrote.  "With escalating debts, students in the United Kingdom may view prostitution as an easy way to get rich quick."

Dixon refused ABC News' request for comment.

The numbers are rising, she noted.  In 2006, about 6 percent of students reportedly knew a peer who participated in sex work.  Now, those figures have risen to just below 10 percent, according to the research.

Prostitution is not illegal in the U.K., but soliciting for sex and brothels are prohibited.  Prostitution is banned throughout the U.S., except Nevada.  In 2009, Natalie Dylan of San Diego, Calif., made headlines for auctioning off her virginity to pay for her master's degree in family and marriage therapy.

Dixon wrote that the media may also influence students' turn to prostitution to pay the bills.  She pointed toward a popular U.K. television show, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which is based on the life of Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist who worked in prostitution while gaining her doctorate in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science.

Past surveys have noted that pole and lap dancing are the most popular type of sex work of which students participate. Stripping is second and prostitution came third, according to the report.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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