This contribution assesses attitudes toward prostitution in Norway and Sweden, where it is illegal to buy sex. Sweden's law was put into place in 1999, and Norway followed in 2009. These laws were embedded in different market structures and discourses when enacted. This study uses a
2008 Internet survey to shed light on attitudes toward various aspects of prostitution while controlling for other socio-demographic factors. Findings include that men and sexual liberals of either gender are more likely positive toward prostitution and men and women who are conservative or
support gender equality are more negative. Holding anti-immigration views correlates with more positive attitudes toward buying, but not selling, sex. Norwegians are more positive than Swedes toward prostitution. Supporting gender equality has more explanatory power in Sweden than in Norway,
which may be due to the use of gender equality to frame the Swedish debate.
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JEL Codes: I28, J88, K14;
Document Type: Research Article
Norwegian Social Research, P.O. Box 3223 Elisenberg, N-0208, Oslo, Norway
Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640 Gothenburg, SE-405 30, Sweden
January 1, 2011
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