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The Swedish Legal Approach to Prostitution: Trends and Tendencies in the Prostitution Debate
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, E-ISSN 1502-394X, Vol. 24, no 1, 45-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on academic responses to the Swedish law prohibiting the purchase of sexual services, enacted in 1999. It highlights the close link between popular – populist – ideas circulating in media, and academic work discussing problems with the given legislation. Two myths can be traced, exchanged between and enforced by on the one hand voices in the Sex Workers Rights movement and voices from within academia. The first myth relates to the legal construction of the legislation – which is obscured in order to make women in prostitution seem like victims in the eyes of the lawmaker, and hence portray the legislation as a "radical feminist-victim-oriented" piece of work. The second myth relates to the historical events leading up to the law, what alliances and arguments that were used. The made up history again puts the legislation firmly in radical feminist politics, all though the alliances and arguments came from many strands of thoughts and crucial decisions came about due to ad hoc events as well as the lack of an articulated resistance. The article concludes that the research field is under influence from strong political interests, so far successful in producing non valid arguments against the law. This in turn makes it difficult to gain knowledge about the outcomes and effects of "the Swedish model" on prostitution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016. Vol. 24, no 1, 45-55 p.
National Category
Law and Society Gender Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118746DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2016.1143252ISI: 000372106300005OAI: diva2:916224
Available from: 2016-04-01 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Yttergren, ÅsaWesterstrand, Jenny
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Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society
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