In Ghana, the sex trade is stigmatized and illegal but so widespread in communities that many Ghanaians are unaware that it is prohibited [21, 22]. Despite the social stigma and criminalization of the sex trade in Ghana, the practice is increasingly common among students in public universities. Various strategies including hanging out in bars around college campuses at night to be picked, leaving phone numbers and photos in hotels and guesthouses around universities to be contacted by potential clients when services are available. needed, while others operate from their hostel rooms or are rented private hostels around campuses. Brothels are also springing up in and around various university campuses, some of which are considered to be movie theaters.
The predominant basic characteristics of college students who have engaged in the sex trade are evidence that sex work on public college campuses involves young, unmarried people of various nationalities who have various social and economic needs assumed to be in business. origin of a proliferation of the sex trade on public university campuses in Ghana. Although in the minority (4%), some male college students also engaged in the sex trade targeting wealthy men considered gay and women (“ sugar moms ”) primarily for financial gain.
The large number of international students (81%) who engaged in the sex trade on the various public university campuses confirms the media report that ‘commercial sex work is illegal in Ghana, but we have not imposed strict restrictions on sex tourism to prevent HIV / AIDS, especially when sex takes place between two consenting adults. . Therefore, sex work is practiced on the campuses of various public universities in various forms, and students adopt various strategies and coping mechanisms for their sex work during their studies; not only as a means of economic survival, but sometimes as a basic need for sexual gratification to effectively cope with academic work on campus. These results are consistent with those of other studies [24,25,26] who claimed that a large number of undergraduates engaged in the sex trade on various college campuses. With the associated risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, a study in southeast Ethiopia shows that young people, including university students, are at higher risk of contracting STIs, including infections. to HIV, because of their risky sexual behavior. .
In the present study, we observed that sex work is becoming a common practice on the campuses of different public universities in various forms and for various reasons, as the students involved adopt various coping strategies and mechanisms for their sex work to. school. This finding is not only for the economic survival of the students involved but sometimes a fundamental need for sexual gratification to effectively cope with academic work on campus. While each of the listed factors associated with the sex trade in this study may encourage college students to become involved in the sex trade, a similar study also observed biological, psychological, environmental, cultural, and economic factors in the form of financial difficulties situation while in school, an above average libido, laziness and consumer mentality supported by the culture of promiscuity, and further blamed the situation on the lack of sex education on college campuses which creates an environment conducive to risky sexual behavior among youth on campus .
The student sex trade was observed as a business and the cost of the service was determined based on location, duration of sex, type of client, type of service, and sexual position and style. . In most cases, the cost of using the services of a sex worker is negotiable. However, the perceived risk and aggressiveness of the sexual act determine the cost of the service, and in most cases the money is collected before the start of the sexual relationship. Special negotiable fees apply for anal, oral and sex without a condom, as these were perceived to be high-risk sex acts.
Twenty (20) different sex positions / styles were listed and evaluated accordingly. The short, missionary position of intercourse has been reported to be the cheapest and most frequented overall because it is perceived to be stress free. Explaining the reasoning behind valuing the services of sex workers, it was noted that some sexual positions / styles are very aggressive and painful hence the cost of these styles is usually high to compensate for stamina and buy medicine for injuries. The missionary position of sex was rated the cheapest among the 20 listed sex positions available due to its convenience and stress-free nature for sex workers. The costs of the other styles are negotiable depending on the environment of the sexual encounter, the duration and the risk perceived by the sex workers.
The observation that clients are forced to pay more for unprotected sex and for condom bursts indicates that student sex workers are aware of the health risk of unprotected sex, but are not aware of the health risk involved. devote to it and charge more to be able to pay. for associated health outcomes.
In this study, the authors also observed that female commercial sex workers in particular earn more money if they agree to have sex without a condom (unprotected sex). In some situations, their clients mutually begin sex with a condom but later forcefully break the agreement to continue the condomless intercourse despite the associated risks of contracting STIs and unplanned pregnancy. In some situations, some clients are able to lure student sex workers with extra money to agree to unprotected sex, while others experience physical violence if they insist on sex. protected sex. This observation, especially among students in higher education institutions, runs counter to public health efforts to prevent new infections and the spread of STIs, including HIV, among young people and their clients. . A study on the sex trade in Ghana indicates that the effectiveness of AIDS programs in Ghana depends on a better understanding of the social and economic dynamics of the sex trade. . This is a typical situation that requires an enabling environment consumed by stigma and judgmental behavior on the part of the community to empower sex workers who are victims of such acts to seek justice and medical care.
Introduction to the sex trade
The act of initiating the sex trade and the reasons for becoming a student sex worker at a public university in Ghana, as shown in this study, is multifaceted. The influence of peers on earning money and other material gains for personal maintenance was a key determinant of the sex trade as observed in this study. Some studies have also found a link between negative peer influences on the sex work [27, 28]. The academic environment for some undergraduates is a phase of transition, filled with mixed feelings of excitement, new experiences, autonomy, stress and loneliness, as some students must navigate between academic work and demands. social. . With this transition phase, affluent and well-exposed peers become the immediate associates and sometimes mentors of the less well-off, thus exposing their less-exposed colleagues to various survival strategies, including how to acquire money and material things to do. school. . These peer influences sometimes become unhealthy, prompting student sex workers for financial / material gains [31, 32].
On the contrary, the present study found that sex work among students of public universities in Ghana is not only for financial / material gain, but also for emotional stability, as revealed that some students have become sex workers because they believe they become more emotionally stable, relaxed, and academically successful if they have sex with multiple partners before exams. Although it could be considered a sex addiction, these students believe that such an addiction is normal . Relate practice to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , the authors are forced to justify this behavior as a means to an end if it could help these students meet their needs on campus. In the Ghanaian context, however, a perception with such behavior could be attributed to demonic possessions that would require deliverance. .
Student sex work is associated with various risks such as violence, unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Various strategies such as paid protection and additional fees to mitigate these business risks are adopted. Regarding the effects on academic performance, the general observation has been that students who engage in the sex trade have various consequences on their academic performance. The opinion of university students as observed in a previous study  That the impact of sex work on their academic performance is that they usually do not pass their exam as expected and therefore do not complete their degree on time was also noted in the current study. More than half of student sex workers had at least two background papers to write at all levels of their academic life.
As a result, some female students reported offering sexual favors at certain conferences in exchange for grades for passing exams. The presence of male students on college campuses and their reasons for engaging in school sex work corroborate the findings of another study of male sex workers which observed that these men resorted to sex work. sex trade when desperately short of money as they did not have access to food or shelter . This practice is very unusual for the expectations of men within Ghanaian culture and explains the negative influence of some foreign cultures on Ghanaian university students. While a good education is generally seen as a cure for engaging in the sex trade [38, 39], this study showed that the sex trade among university students goes beyond the “good up bring” because it is not only an education or a good parenting education.