One such student, Candice Kashani, who was facing an annual $50,000 in tuition and expenses, decided to join a dating website that connects women in need of financial aid with men willing to help pay it, reported the Associated Press (AP).
“Now, almost three years and several sugar daddies later, Kashani is set to graduate from Villanova University free and clear, while some of her peers are burdened with six-digit debts,” reported the wire service.
“The people who have a stigma, or associate a negative connotation with it, don’t understand how it works,” she argued.
Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, told the AP that it’s not uncommon for students to use sex work to help pay for university. The sugar daddy dating websites do not guarantee sex, but it is implied, according to site users.
Ron Weitzer described the websites as “prostitution light” to the AP. He is a criminologist that focuses on the sex industry and a professor of sociology at the George Washington University.
The burdened situation American students have been put into has created an incentive for business people to create the websites.
Brandon Wade, who has created several of these websites, told the AP that they can be used as an “alternative to financial aide.” He is also quoted on his personal website as saying, “Love is a concept invented by poor people.”
One of his websites targets students specifically although he says it did not initially plan to do so. “It stumbled on this niche and began in 2011 offering students a free premium membership, which usually costs $30 a month. It charges sugar daddies $70 to $180 a month, depending on the membership level,” wrote the AP.
“Money and sex are things that people want… I think the controversy comes into play on seeking arrangement because we are so upfront about it,” Wade concluded.
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