Predicting Attitudes Towards the Exchange of Sexual Services for Payment: Variance in Gender Gaps Across the Nordic Countries

Isabelle Johansson, Michael A. Hansen

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Introduction: This article explores how individual-level attitudes towards the exchange of sexual services for payment differ between the Nordic countries. The sparse existing research points to gender and general attitudes towards sexual behavior as powerful predictors of attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment. However, there are no previous research agendas that attempt to explain variance in such attitudes including all the Nordic countries.

Methods: We estimate regression models utilizing data from the joint Wave 5 European Values Study (EVS)/World Values Survey (WVS) Wave 7 (EVS 2017; WVS, 2020) asking about the acceptability of prostitution to predict attitudes towards the exchange of sexual services for payment in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. 

Results: The findings point to considerable variation in attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment in the Nordic countries. The attitudinal differences align with how the different Nordic governments have approached the issue at hand. Moreover, the results suggest that gender and attitudes towards non-committal casual sex play a critical role in determining attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment. The impact of attitudes towards non-committal casual sex on attitudes towards the acceptability of exchanging sex for payment is different for women when compared to men in four of the five countries. 

Conclusions: The empirical results provide convincing evidence that women are less likely than men to translate liberal attitudes towards general sexual behavior into lenient attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment. 

Policy Implications: The results indicate that government policies play a crucial role in shaping public attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment, and policymakers should consider the potential impact of their stance on the issue. Policymakers and others who want to shift attitudes towards the exchange of sex for payment in the Nordic region should be cognizant of their interconnectedness with gender and attitudes towards non-committal casual sex.

OriginalspråkEngelska
Sidor (från-till)559-577
Antal sidor19
TidskriftSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volym21
Nummer2
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 2024-mars-09

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Sociologi (504)

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