A new study has revealed that one tenth of British males have admitted to paying for sex.
Professionals in the age group between 25 and 34, who are drug takers and binge drinkers, were the most likely individuals to have made use of the services of prostitutes, according to a study involving 6108 men.
The study has been published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal, and stated that about 11% of the participants have paid for sex during their lifetime and 4% admitted to doing so during the last five years.
It was found that those who have had a high number of sexual partners were the ones most likely to admit to having paid for sex. The study showed that 16% of those who have had five or more during the last five years admitted that they had done so.
The participants, who reported heavy drinking at least once per week or taking hard drugs over the past year, were also much more likely to pay for sex. The statistics for the five-year timeframe were at 6% and 14% respectively.
Dr Cath Mercer from UCL Infection and Population health said this picture does not necessarily fit the stereotype of and older, lonely man.
In excess of 60% of those who admitted to using prostitution services reported that they had done so outside the UK at least one, mostly in Asia and Europe.
The males who participated in the survey were aged between 17 and 74 and were required to answer questions in a computer-based self-interview.
These results are based on the ‘National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles’ study conducted from 2010 to 2012 by researchers based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NatCen Social Research and UCL.
It was found that males who paid for sex have had an average of 31.6 sexual partners during their lifetime, of which 18% were paid, compared to the average of 13.6. Even after making adjustments for the high number, those who had paid for sex during the past five years were twice as likely to contract a STI.
According to Dr Mercer, men who pay for sex are at higher risk of infection, but this does not mean that their infections are spread via the paid sexual encounters.
He said they found that these males report taking part in other risky sexual encounters, such as having overlapping or concurrent partners, hence they should be considered a core-group for sexual health interventions and services.
Dr Mercer added that those who were likely to pay for sexual services outside the UK should discuss practicing safe sex with a health professional. This will help prevent STI transmission.
Image Credit: Blemished Paradise