Jennifer Hafer, a doctoral student, and economics Professor Amy Farmer of the University of Arkansas say contrary to conventional wisdom that women enter prostitution because they are desperate -- they need money to pay bills or buy drugs -- many educated and affluent women are making a rational decision to enter certain segments of the "world's oldest profession."
However, the research confirmed women do not explicitly choose to become streetwalkers.
"The findings suggest that these [educated and affluent] women are not forced into the prostitution market but rather choose to enter it for many of the same reasons that people enter the conventional job market -- money, stability, autonomy and even job satisfaction," Hafer said in a statement.
The researchers say the prostitution market is divided into the high-quality category, such as a high-end escort service or through the Internet, and the low-quality market that includes brothels in Nevada and streetwalkers.
Women with less education and economic opportunities choose to enter the low-quality legal market -- the brothels in certain Nevada counties -- while women do not choose to participate in streetwalking prostitution, they say.