What explains attitudes toward prostitution?
Using a larger and more representative sample than previous studies, we assess people’s attitudes toward prostitution in Norway and Sweden. Compared to previous statistical analyses in this field, the present study is the first to use sophisticated statistical methods that can shed further light on attitudes toward different aspects of prostitution while controlling for other confounding factors. The main findings are that men and sexual liberals are more positive toward prostitution, and that conservatives and those who support gender equality are more negative. Holding anti-immigration views is correlated with more positive attitudes toward buying, but not toward selling, sex. Norwegians are more positive than Swedes toward prostitution. It is also found that supporting gender equality has more explanatory power in Sweden than in Norway, and it is argued that this may be due to the more gendered nature of the Swedish debate.
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