In 1993 the Sweden government appointed an investigation that would look into if it was appropriate to criminalize prostitution. After weighing the different arguments against each other the lone investigator Inga-Britt Thörnell recommended that a criminalization of both the seller and the buyer was the appropriate action to take. The research resulted in a report from the department for social welfare called The Sextrade.
Sex workers is limited to the visible prostitutes on the streets the report establishes that the female prostitutes:
often are alcohol- or drug addicts. The drug abuse is often a reason for the prostitution.
has an increasing degree of psychological problems.
had a bad start to life, very early on been deprived of self respect and acquired a negative self image.
that the injuries and scars the women had thru earlier abuse is reinforced in the prostitution.
relatives and children are affected directly and indirectly from the harm the women experience in the sex trade.
The clients in the investigation is referred to as gender buyers and are supposed to be:
They are deviant in their attitudes towards sexuality and women.
they sometimes have serious psychological problems in the way they views sexuality.
In being with the prostitutes mean a sexual fantasy without the demand for a relation, closeness and obligations, a difference to genuine human relationships.
they risk infection from sexual diseases transmitted from sexual intercourse.
The report recommended a criminalization of both the buyer and the seller with the motivation that a criminalization would:
act as a norm function that prostitution is not socially acceptable.
the risk for arrest, investigation by the police and risk of a public trial would act as an abstaining factor for sex buyers.
a criminalization would act as a abstaining effect for women to enter the prostitution market. The females would also get a stronger position when standing up against persuasions if they could say that it was illegal.
In January 1, 1999 Sweden criminalized the buying of sexual services. The sex-purchase law makes it a crime to buy a sexual service in Sweden. It is still completely legal to sell sexual services.
The government took up the issue of criminalizing prostitution in connection with their treatment of a report from the commission against violence towards women called "Women peace" that proposed a number of measures to raise the equality between men and women and to prevent violence against women.
The government did not think it was acceptable that men could buy sexual services from women in an equal society.
The Sweden government reached the conclusion to only criminalize the buyer of sexual services.
Under Sweden's so-called "Sex Purchase Law," paying for sex is punished by fines or up to six months in prison, plus the humiliation of public exposure. A handful of Swedish judges have been caught up in prostitution scandals, including a Supreme Court justice who was fined in 2005 after admitting to paying for sex with a young man.
Pimps and brothel keepers are also prosecuted, but not prostitutes, because they are viewed as victims, treated as commodities in the sex trade.
The government didn't think it was reasonable to criminalize the seller since they considered the sex worker weak, a person that is being exploited by others who want to satisfy their own sexual desires.
The decision about the sex-purchase law in Sweden was made
While authorities judge the new system a success, critics question whether it has really reduced prostitution or merely pushed it off the streets into more isolated and dangerous surroundings. Wahlberg concedes that accurate statistics are hard to obtain, but estimates the number of prostitutes in Sweden dropped 40 percent from 2,500 in 1998 to 1,500 in 2003.
Conscious of the interest, Sweden's government is planning a thorough review of the effects of the law, expected to be ready next year.
Lets see what the new outcome will be? Who do you think should be punish?