This article analyses the history and rationale behind “the Swedish model” of regulating prostitution. The most controversial and debated part of this model is the 1999 ban on purchases of sexual services. To be fully understood the ban and the comprehensive policy regime of which it is a part, the new model has to be placed within a broader framework of policy areas such as gender, sexuality, and social welfare. Thus, the contemporary policy regime will be traced back to the mid-1970s when gender norms and sexual mores were renegotiated in Sweden, which in turn led to a radical reconsideration of men’s role and responsibility in heterosexual prostitution. Also, the outcomes, critiques, and controversies of “the Swedish model” will be discussed. A reduction of demand for prostitution implies changes on many levels, both societal and individual. From a normative point of view, it has been women who have played a leading role when it comes to working for such a change. A radical change would presuppose men’s participation in the process. If so, the crucial question is: Is there reason to believe that men are prepared to engage in anti-sexist politics that can challenge existing beliefs about gender difference and the idea of men’s rights to use women in prostitution for their sexual purposes?
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"The History and Rationale of Swedish Prostitution Policies,"
Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence:
4, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dignity/vol2/iss4/1