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Attitudes and perceptions about legislation prohibiting the purchase of sexual services in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Jari Kuosmanen
Published in European journa of social work
Volume 2011 vol. 14
Issue 2
Pages 247-263
ISSN 1369-1457
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 247-263
Language en
Keywords Prostitution; Legislation; Attitudes; Sweden
Subject categories Social Sciences


Swedish legislation prohibiting the purchase of sex has, for a long time, been the only oneof its kind in the world, in that it only targets the purchase and not the sale of sex. There is great interest in Sweden and other European countries in how this law has beenunderstood and accepted by the Swedes. The purpose of this article is to present and discuss the attitudes of the Swedish people to this law. A survey was carried out during the spring of 2008 with a sample of 2500 individuals aged between 18 and 74. The results show that a large majority of Swedes want to retain the law, even if they do not have strong confidence that the law reduces the supply or demand. It is also shown that the law primarily influenced those who already had a negative attitude towards prostitution. Furthermore the Swedes and foremost Swedish women would even like to criminalise the sale of sex. When it comes to the extent of purchase, the responses indicate that the number of customers has, as a result of the legislation, decreased somewhat.

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