chapter  11
Sweden
WithPetra Östergren
Pages 16

Sweden has a long tradition of viewing commercial sex as a threat to public order, safety, and treasured norms. In 1918 Stockholm became the last city to revoke the French-style regulation of prostitution that had been in operation for decades, even though brothel-related sex work and procuring had been considered crimes and continued to be. The reform implied a national STI prevention regime, an expansion of the Penal Code provision on procuring, and the decriminalization of sex sales, with the exception of homosexual acts, which remained illegal until 1944. The government also wished to make a statement on Sweden's position vis-a-vis other nations, reasoning that the ban could support anti-prostitution groups elsewhere, and discourage foreign third parties who might consider Sweden a market for expansion. However, the National Police Board argued that this stance goes against a political commitment in Sweden, and suggested that the publication should be stopped.