26/09/2013 08:22

Sex trade in PNG tertiary institutions

By Kanik Wak - Divine Word University Student

25 SEPT 2013. Kanic Wak, a Final Year student at the Department of PNG Studies and International Relations – Divine Word University (Madang) recently submitted as his final paper “An Investigation into Sex Trade in Tertiary Institutions: A case study of Sugar Daddy in Divine Word University, Madang Technical College, Lutheran School of Nursing and Madang Teachers’ College.”

Kanic, why did you single out these schools?

I targeted the Tertiary Education level due to the nature of the issue as it is being practiced more at that level, therefore all four Tertiary Institutions in Madang.

Could you prove the existence of sex for sale among tertiary students?

Definitely! All the fifty respondents to my questionnaire from the four schools agreed that the problem exists in each institution. It has basically two faces. One is plain prostitution, the practice of one night stand. The other is the so-called phenomenon of sugar daddy, whereas a female student becomes a stable partner of an outsider male who then pays for her school fees and other needs. Institutions with a higher student female population are particularly targeted for extra-marital sex.

Ho do mature males normally contact young female students?

Most times a male student is being approached and requested to make arrangements. He is subsequently given a reward normally by being admitted to a drinking spree. With the emergency of social networks, however, contacts are made online and become more private and harder to detect.

Are expatriate males involved in this practice?

Both expatriates and nationals in Madang are heavily involved in student related prostitution. In some institutions also national and expatriate lecturers are far from clean in this regard.

What are the reasons that drive a student in Madang into the sex trade?

There are several. The most relevant appears to be poverty or in any case a difficulty in paying school fees due to insufficient support from the family of origin or any other reason. This especially fuels the sugar daddy relationships. The second is the possibility of making easy money for extra gadgets such as better smart phones, clothes, trips, etc. The third is peer pressure: if you want to be a member of the group you must get into this as well. The fourth is the lack of parental guidance for many, coupled with the spirit of freedom brought about by the modern way of life and that students feel are entitled to when they reach the tertiary level of education and are away from home.

What could Universities and Colleges do to contrast the sex trade?

Better counseling services and a better check of absences and activities outside the school could certainly help; better coordination with parents at home too. In my opinion, however, the problem can only be contrasted and minimized. Students agree with the practice and obviously tend to hide it.

With success?

Not really! In campus everybody knows! The social stigma is inevitable; and at times, of course, also unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and Hiv-Aids are contracted. At that point parents and councilors become important again; though the girls will try to say that it happened with a boyfriend or a fellow student. (G.L.)