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starman

A doctoral dissertation of Swedish and German prostitution policy since the 1970s

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The 600 page thesis was published last month and is not available online, but there are some summaries and reviews

Comparison of Swedish and the German policies undertaken in this thesis reveals that also the approval of prostitution builds on feminist analyses, and that other explanations can be found for the Swedish approach of client criminalisation than the actual success of the Swedish women’s movement.

In this thesis the ideas of prostitution that emerge in tandem with the Swedish client criminalization and the German approval of prostitution are traced back to different theories of civil society, differing welfare state ideologies, religious traditions and feminist ideas that have influenced the political strategies of both countries

According to the author of the thesis, a normative law such as the Sex Purchase Act is made possible partly due to the comparatively high level of trust that Swedish people have in the state.

She considers that Germans, on the other hand, tend rather to question the state's responsibility for setting norms.

- It has something to do with the experience of two dictatorships.

Swedes have had a positive experience of their welfare state, but both the National Socialist dictatorship during the Third Reich and the socialist GDR highlight the fact that states can abuse their normative power.

It was the German left that pushed through the legalisation of prostitution and they emphasised that the state should not regulate sexual relationships between consenting adults.

When it comes to feminism, radical feminist theories have gained a strong influence in Sweden, emphasising power structures as male domination and female subservience. In Germany feminism has more similarities with queer feminism, which is compatible with the way in which the state is viewed.

While Swedish prostitution policies are based on a normative view of how equality should manifest itself for women and men, the German left emphasises that there is a large range of sexual identities and modes of expression. According to this way of thinking, selecting some as more equal and thereby superior to others entails discriminating against deviants.

With regard to religion, Dodillet points to the major influence that the Christian Democrats have in the German social debate.

- She calls attention to the fact that in Germany the Christian Democrats control half the parliament. In common with the church, they oppose prostitution on moral grounds and sympathise with Swedish prostitution policy. However, the left opposes the moral argument and the view of prostitution is consequently more liberal than in Sweden where there is little Christian political opposition.

However an 18th century Christian morality, now seemingly obsolete, partially underpins the contemporary adoption of the Swedish law banning the purchase of sexual services.

Susanne Dodillet was born in Germany but has lived in Sweden for the last 10 years

Is sex work?

http://nppr.se/2009/03/04/susanne-dodillets-ar-sex-arbete-is-sex-work/

http://gup.ub.gu.se/gup/record/index.xsql?pubid=88989

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The 600 page thesis was published last month and is not available online, but there are some summaries and reviews

Comparison of Swedish and the German policies undertaken in this thesis reveals that also the approval of prostitution builds on feminist analyses, and that other explanations can be found for the Swedish approach of client criminalisation than the actual success of the Swedish women’s movement.

In this thesis the ideas of prostitution that emerge in tandem with the Swedish client criminalization and the German approval of prostitution are traced back to different theories of civil society, differing welfare state ideologies, religious traditions and feminist ideas that have influenced the political strategies of both countries

According to the author of the thesis, a normative law such as the Sex Purchase Act is made possible partly due to the comparatively high level of trust that Swedish people have in the state.

She considers that Germans, on the other hand, tend rather to question the state's responsibility for setting norms.

- It has something to do with the experience of two dictatorships.

Swedes have had a positive experience of their welfare state, but both the National Socialist dictatorship during the Third Reich and the socialist GDR highlight the fact that states can abuse their normative power.

It was the German left that pushed through the legalisation of prostitution and they emphasised that the state should not regulate sexual relationships between consenting adults.

When it comes to feminism, radical feminist theories have gained a strong influence in Sweden, emphasising power structures as male domination and female subservience. In Germany feminism has more similarities with queer feminism, which is compatible with the way in which the state is viewed.

While Swedish prostitution policies are based on a normative view of how equality should manifest itself for women and men, the German left emphasises that there is a large range of sexual identities and modes of expression. According to this way of thinking, selecting some as more equal and thereby superior to others entails discriminating against deviants.

With regard to religion, Dodillet points to the major influence that the Christian Democrats have in the German social debate.

- She calls attention to the fact that in Germany the Christian Democrats control half the parliament. In common with the church, they oppose prostitution on moral grounds and sympathise with Swedish prostitution policy. However, the left opposes the moral argument and the view of prostitution is consequently more liberal than in Sweden where there is little Christian political opposition.

However an 18th century Christian morality, now seemingly obsolete, partially underpins the contemporary adoption of the Swedish law banning the purchase of sexual services.

Susanne Dodillet was born in Germany but has lived in Sweden for the last 10 years

Is sex work?

http://nppr.se/2009/03/04/susanne-dodillets-ar-sex-arbete-is-sex-work/

http://gup.ub.gu.se/gup/record/index.xsql?pubid=88989

I had a very quick browse...

So this is my immediate response (I will come back to the post later, hopefully)...

From the classical Marxian perspective prostitution is work :D

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Irrespective of whether other countries consider prostitution as work or not, in this green and pleasant land it has been determined by no lesser bodies than The Court of Appeal and HMRC (nee IRC) as a "trade"/"supply of services for reward on a commercial basis", and that is good enough for me.

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I had a very quick browse...

So this is my immediate response (I will come back to the post later, hopefully)...

From the classical Marxian perspective prostitution is work :D

when you have read the 600 page book?

I'm sure there's a lot in it HH and Julie Bindel won't like

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Irrespective of whether other countries consider prostitution as work or not, in this green and pleasant land it has been determined by no lesser bodies than The Court of Appeal and HMRC (nee IRC) as a "trade"/"supply of services for reward on a commercial basis", and that is good enough for me.

Sounds like 'work' to me then :D:p

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when you have read the 600 page book?

I'm sure there's a lot in it HH and Julie Bindel won't like

On second thoughts :D

...Maybe its a good job that I cannot open the link :(

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Irrespective of whether other countries consider prostitution as work or not, in this green and pleasant land it has been determined by no lesser bodies than The Court of Appeal and HMRC (nee IRC) as a "trade"/"supply of services for reward on a commercial basis", and that is good enough for me.

so why should special laws apply?

the workers at Tescos are certainly controlled for gain, if they

had been sexworkers the business would have been illegal.

I think you can safely say, that the reason HH et al have choosen trafficking as an excuse to ban p4p, is that Brits traditionally don't have "a high level of trust have in the state" and "tend rather to question the state's responsibility for setting norms"

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The 600 page thesis was published last month and is not available online, but there are some summaries and reviews

Comparison of Swedish and the German policies undertaken in this thesis reveals that also the approval of prostitution builds on feminist analyses, and that other explanations can be found for the Swedish approach of client criminalisation than the actual success of the Swedish women’s movement.

In this thesis the ideas of prostitution that emerge in tandem with the Swedish client criminalization and the German approval of prostitution are traced back to different theories of civil society, differing welfare state ideologies, religious traditions and feminist ideas that have influenced the political strategies of both countries

According to the author of the thesis, a normative law such as the Sex Purchase Act is made possible partly due to the comparatively high level of trust that Swedish people have in the state.

She considers that Germans, on the other hand, tend rather to question the state's responsibility for setting norms.

- It has something to do with the experience of two dictatorships.

Swedes have had a positive experience of their welfare state, but both the National Socialist dictatorship during the Third Reich and the socialist GDR highlight the fact that states can abuse their normative power.

It was the German left that pushed through the legalisation of prostitution and they emphasised that the state should not regulate sexual relationships between consenting adults.

When it comes to feminism, radical feminist theories have gained a strong influence in Sweden, emphasising power structures as male domination and female subservience. In Germany feminism has more similarities with queer feminism, which is compatible with the way in which the state is viewed.

While Swedish prostitution policies are based on a normative view of how equality should manifest itself for women and men, the German left emphasises that there is a large range of sexual identities and modes of expression. According to this way of thinking, selecting some as more equal and thereby superior to others entails discriminating against deviants.

With regard to religion, Dodillet points to the major influence that the Christian Democrats have in the German social debate.

- She calls attention to the fact that in Germany the Christian Democrats control half the parliament. In common with the church, they oppose prostitution on moral grounds and sympathise with Swedish prostitution policy. However, the left opposes the moral argument and the view of prostitution is consequently more liberal than in Sweden where there is little Christian political opposition.

However an 18th century Christian morality, now seemingly obsolete, partially underpins the contemporary adoption of the Swedish law banning the purchase of sexual services.

Susanne Dodillet was born in Germany but has lived in Sweden for the last 10 years

Is sex work?

http://nppr.se/2009/03/04/susanne-dodillets-ar-sex-arbete-is-sex-work/

http://gup.ub.gu.se/gup/record/index.xsql?pubid=88989

I think you might have also left out this bit :D

But what is surprising is the comparative lack of attention focusing on Dodillet’s analytical contribution to prostitution policy scholarship. Rather, when one begins to sift through the all of the coverage, it’s clear that the major media outlets have primarily been interested in Dodillet’s dissertation because of the book’s final chapter, in which she shifts gear from analysis to advocacy and presents a “draft for a prostitution policy that…might be a way to bridge the gap between the current Swedish and German legislation.”

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I think you might have also left out this bit :D

But what is surprising is the comparative lack of attention focusing on Dodillet's analytical contribution to prostitution policy scholarship. Rather, when one begins to sift through the all of the coverage, it's clear that the major media outlets have primarily been interested in Dodillet's dissertation because of the book's final chapter, in which she shifts gear from analysis to advocacy and presents a "draft for a prostitution policy that…might be a way to bridge the gap between the current Swedish and German legislation."

yes, because it didn't say what she actually proposed, now I know

it is decriminalisation

before the thesis was published, the author said this in an intervew:

Susanne Dodillet is very critical of the Swedish research on prostitution that was carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, and which is the basis for the sex-purchase law.

- There is a degrading view of women in early Swedish research. The researchers saw prostitution as a social problem that they wanted to eliminate. But they never talked to the prostitutes. They just regarded them as social problems that were ill and suffering. Even the women who said they felt fine were regarded as social problems.

"My research shows that moralistic values have survived in Sweden, too, but they are very much hidden - although nobody is actively hiding them. The fact that the sexual legislation originates in traditional Christian sexual morality has gradually been forgotten, which is exemplified by the concept of morality disappearing from the Swedish Criminal Code. The 'morality offences' were renamed 'sexual offences' in Sweden in the 1980s without the underlying Christian tradition being discussed at all.

"http://www.nikk.uio.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=784

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Interesting contribution to the debate as ever Starman. When I have time I'll at least skim read the attachments. Thanks for the precis however.

Doubt if it would even get to first base with Smith, Harman, McTaggart et al. They are listening out only for that which they want to hear.

However it suggests that the legislation may well fail in it's primary purpose of driving down demand because of the lack of trust in the government, by inferring that people will simply choose not to comply, by finding ways around the problems caused, as they see it as bad law, like Prohibition in USA last century.

I see it in economic terms. A willing supply, a willing demand, and a mechanism for discreet exchange of information enabling suppliers and clients to meet, i.e. the Net, for which the Police do not have sufficient resources to monitor comprehensively.

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yes, because it didn't say what she actually proposed, now I know

it is decriminalisation

before the thesis was published, the author said this in an intervew:

Susanne Dodillet is very critical of the Swedish research on prostitution that was carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, and which is the basis for the sex-purchase law.

- There is a degrading view of women in early Swedish research. The researchers saw prostitution as a social problem that they wanted to eliminate. But they never talked to the prostitutes. They just regarded them as social problems that were ill and suffering. Even the women who said they felt fine were regarded as social problems.

"My research shows that moralistic values have survived in Sweden, too, but they are very much hidden - although nobody is actively hiding them. The fact that the sexual legislation originates in traditional Christian sexual morality has gradually been forgotten, which is exemplified by the concept of morality disappearing from the Swedish Criminal Code. The 'morality offences' were renamed 'sexual offences' in Sweden in the 1980s without the underlying Christian tradition being discussed at all.

"http://www.nikk.uio.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=784

I think Mr/s. Dodillet best be careful as she goes since it could well be argued here that she fails to understand a cross-cultural difference and is attempting to impose a German expression of life on the Swedes, if you follow,

especially as she comes from Germany, albeit 10 years ago....

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I think Mr/s. Dodillet best be careful as she goes since it could well be argued here that she fails to understand a cross-cultural difference and is attempting to impose a German expression of life on the Swedes, if you follow,

especially as she comes from Germany, albeit 10 years ago....

what she has done is to explain in detail the cross cultural differences.

she said that she was "somewhere in between" and was critical to the German model as well.

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Now we're waiting for Pia's thesis "sex and censorship in Denmark and the UK

since the 1970s" i.e. strict censorship vs no censorship at all :D

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what she has done is to explain in detail the cross cultural differences.

she said that she was "somewhere in between" and was critical to the German model as well.

Indeed she has and what you in fact say here is true.

All I was saying is that many social policies etc are culturally relative and culturally

determined, for any given society. If this is the case then maybe 'some' in Sweden

will not want to be moved from their culturally

relative and culturally determined position on prostitution by an 'outsider'.

This would be one of the easiest way to 'beat down' her arguement, and I suspect why that aspect

of her book about cultural values were also ignored, if the

review is anything to go by.

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well, let's say that someone in some other country, e.g. the UK, would decide to take a look at this material, then they might come to the conclusion

that the Swedish lobby and their allies (HH) are just touting repackaged Victorian moralism.

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well, let's say that someone in some other country, e.g. the UK, would decide to take a look at this material, then they might come to the conclusion

that the Swedish lobby and their allies (HH) are just touting repackaged Victorian moralism.

Indeed...

However, and whatever the starting point for the debate on prostitution. It will have to start from a 'culturally determined' position. This is why we see so many different countries having a different outlook to

'prostitution'. With each country thinking they are correct

in their views and unwilling to change for the present at least)

If you follow the subtle line of reasoning with regard to the book

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