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Demand for Sexual Services in Britain: Does Sex Education Matter?


  • Steinar Strøm
  • Marilena Locatelli


We investigate the prevalence of factors associated with participation in the sex market among men resident in Britain using data from Britain’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-2, 199-2001,Natsal-3, 2010-2012). The percentage of men asking for paid sex is about 12 per cent in 2010-2012 and it has increased from 10 per cent in 1999-2001. We estimate both the probability of having had sex with a prostitute and the expected number of times men had been together with prostitutes, conditional on participating in the sex market. We find that sex education in school has a negative and significant role in the demand for paid sex. At the time of availability of our data, sex education was compulsory only in council-run schools, but our result suggests that making sex education compulsory in all primary and/or secondary schools may reduce the inclination to have sex with prostitute later in life.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinar Strøm & Marilena Locatelli, 2017. "Demand for Sexual Services in Britain: Does Sex Education Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6817, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6817

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marina Giusta & Maria Tommaso & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "Who is watching? The market for prostitution services," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 501-516, April.
    2. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins, 2003. "Estimates of a Model of Male Participation in the Market for Female Heterosexual Prostitution Services," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 271-288, November.
    3. Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Isilda Shima & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(18), pages 2261-2277.
    4. Immordino, G. & Russo, F.F., 2015. "Regulating prostitution: A health risk approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 14-31.
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    More about this item


    demand for sex; participation and number of times with prostitutes; sex education; Britain;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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