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Thousands of young Swedes sell sex: study

TT/David Landes · 14 Sep 2009, 07:27

Published: 14 Sep 2009 07:27 GMT+02:00

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The report by the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen) also finds that more boys than girls have been paid for having sex with others, results which echo a similar study carried out in 2004.

According to the study, 43 percent of young people between the ages of 16- and 25-years-old believe that getting paid for sex is acceptable, as long as the parties involved are in agreement, Sveriges Radio (SR) reports.

Internet contacts between young people were also found to be laden with sexual overtones as well as outright sexual propositions, with one in two girls receiving unwelcome overtures in the last year.

Most often, the girls receive requests to provide explicit images of themselves or are asked for sex.

According to the study, around 35,000 agreed to go along with the proposals in the last year.

“I know someone who sent pictures, and now she feels terrible since they’ve shown up everywhere. The whole school has seen the pictures,” Alejandra, a ninth grader at Södra Ängbyskolan in Bromma near Stockholm, told SR.

“I’ve received questions which asked, ‘can’t you make a video or something’ – lots of really disgusting things.”

The Youth Board’s Inger Ashing explained that young people interested in selling sex often suffer from serious emotional problems.

Story continues below…

“Both young people who sell sex or can imagine selling sex feel worse than the overage young person. There is a higher instance of problems with family relationships and many show other signs that they don’t feel well,” Ashing told SR.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:14 September 14, 2009 by eagleh
Yes, that would be very expectable. This beside the increase of sexual crimes is just the effect of forbidden formal sex sell. The parties proposed forbid of red lines should respone that. besides, thousands of porno movies are made in Sweden which fabtasize the wild sex and sexual crimes.
12:21 September 14, 2009 by Jan M
Is there an association with the very high rates of unemployment in this age group? It's a difficult issue to deal with because those involved are open to exploitation but at the same time don't respond well to advice and warnings because it's not seen as 'cool' to respect authority. The consequence is, as the article suggests, that many engage in these sorts of activities and many feel the opposite of 'cool' afterwards - degraded would probably be a better word. Sweden needs to look hard at other countries for solutions.
12:35 September 14, 2009 by sherkovic
where can I find one?
13:36 September 14, 2009 by dockmandock
Re-Horakhty, presumably you are God, as obviously you've taken it upon yourself to judge other people, decide what is "depraved" and what is best for people.
14:06 September 14, 2009 by DreEstwd
The sooner people start ignoring the troll, Re-Horakhty, the better. You guys don't really believe this is an actual, serious poster, do you?
14:51 September 14, 2009 by markkeo
Ok - I think you should credit these kids with slightly more intelligence, or maybe some of you could exercise some! :P Just because a higher number of boys in this survey claims to have sold sex than girls, doesn't mean its gospel . It just means we have a large number of immature boys who thinks it is funny to lie on surveys ( I do it all the time ) . I think the boys are bigging themselves up pretending to be gigalos and taking a lend of the interviewer or survey ….Please think back to when you where teenagers and all the lies you said on surveys!! You are showing your age if you think all the young boys are getting exploited for money rather than it being just a joke! As for the girls and pics over the internet - this happens in every country and probs . And I am willing to be those reading this have received or viewed saucy snaps off their partners..:P

And to the guy who say pride flags can change your sexual orientation and finds this country depraved - what type of country do you come from ( retard-ikztan)? if you find a flag that subjective? Does it make you want to grow a moustache and start dancing to the village people?

peace out!
15:28 September 14, 2009 by Jan M
As markkeo suggests there are problems of this sort in other countries too. However I think the particular problem in Sweden is that the problem has to be effectively self-policed. In the event that it requires intervention or serious political consideration there are no organisations with the resources or motivation to intervene - I include the police and judicial system in this. This is an unrelated example but just to illustrate the point, 25 years ago the Swedish authorities were presented with a dossier identifying Nazis from the Baltic states who had committed genocide during the 2nd World War and were now living in Sweden. The Swedish authorities received the information and then declared that under the statute of limitations more than 25 years had passed since the crimes were committed and so the perpetrators could not be investigated further or prosecuted. To refer back to the topic above, in cases of paedophilia, sex crimes etc. the same rule would apply. Consequently whilst the problems may be the same the ability of the Swedish system to investigate and punish crimes is more limited and there is little to stop a deterioration.
15:36 September 14, 2009 by markkeo
In this context, i think sweden is doing the right thing - Sweden had banned the forwarding of explicit pictures. If you receive a picture from your partner, and you decide to forawrd this picture you will be charged and fined. Everyone who inturn receives this pic and forwards it on , will also be charged. This doesn't happen in England ( as far as i'm aware) or america....because the picture is seen as the property of the holder ( receiver) . So i think in this context, sweden is leading the way and should be given credit! I'm from england and i've lost count of the pics i've seen of peoples ex's ...which i find awfula and disrespectful ( didn't know what i was being shown at first) . So at least the idiots who do it here will be charged and fined! :) . I agree kids are open to explotion , if they fall into certain categories....but not because they are unemployed ( not that many) .....i just think half of them lied on the survey :P x
15:51 September 14, 2009 by this_aint_sparta
One of the reason might be that its much easier to do it in Sweden. A million free dating sites. Internet banking. Fast debit.

Flashing some t!ts for 50sek straight in your account in 50 secs ?????? and then 100 more for .... and 150 for ... and that goes on.

and its very rare that the person taking the money is not having fun out of it, doing it for fun and getting some money for free.
15:59 September 14, 2009 by markkeo
I missed that ( with the banking) , good point . But in that case it's even easier to trace?
16:19 September 14, 2009 by sherkovic
@Re-Horakhty; are you one of them??

I was sarcastic, there was no need to take it seriously but the way you did make be believe that you are also one of 20 000.

take a chill pill and relax!!
17:57 September 14, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
The entrepreneurial initiate shown by these young Swedes should be applauded....

There is hope for Sweden's future after all :-)
18:00 September 14, 2009 by grantike

It just means we have a large number of immature boys who thinks it is funny to lie on surveys ( I do it all the time ) .

i really think you are one of the problems how can you always lie in surveys and think is funny.dont forget when surveys are done,there are formulars used in calcultions called zero limits and error + or -.stop deceiving urself.and be positive
09:55 September 15, 2009 by newswede
Maybe these addicts need the money to pay for their RedBull!!! LOL

Again, the "studies" done in Sweden seem to be lacking. I doubt these numbers are in line and there seems to be to social cause shown for it. Let's see, almost nobody in this age group works - not that these kids are doing it for the money, but it does give them more time to get in trouble.

Sorry but I didn't have time to read all the comments, thought they seemed to be starting a great discussion. Some were just funny too..."the entrepreneurial initiate shown..."
11:42 September 15, 2009 by cowboyfromnowhere
i am sceptical, these numbers eem VERY high, i wont deny it is an issue, as it is worldwide, but seriuosly, are we too beleive this nonsence???
14:43 September 15, 2009 by Jan M
If the numbers are correct it would be quite worrying. Some comments suggest that it's young Swedes 'boasting' and inflating the stats. That really depends on how the data were collected. If the survey was conducted by approaching groups then trying to impress their peers is an option. If it's arrived through the mail that's a different matter. My original point was that because its's a survey of those that are apparently selling themselves, the correlation between with those that are unemployed or have no legitimate income would be interesting. The idea that unemployment and a lack of opportunities might inflate the numbers was ridiculed a bit but if it's so easy to set-up e-transactions online I am not clear how it can be ruled out. The Moderates have often said that they want to provide more opportunities for the younger age groups in society and are great advocates of e-business and the internet economy. Maybe this survey marks the first big impact of these policies on youth culture. I am not sure that the Elders in the Moderate Party would view internet-based sexual exploitation as being the finest achievement of their pro-business strategy however.
20:19 September 15, 2009 by Gwrhyr
This is all really not as big of a deal as a lot of people think. It's not sexual exploitation if both parties are above the age of consent and are consenting in the transaction. We're not living in Victorian times, sex is not some dirty, dark secret that must be kept secret from people in their late teens and early twenties. Although many people have had it stuffed into their head that sex for money is always degrading and immoral, if you were young, sexually active, attractive, enjoyed sex, and someone was willing to pay you for it, and the transaction wasn't being made on the streets but rather online, and the buyer of your services lived in a comfortable Swedish home, you might decide it's a good deal. Now you shouldn't keep doing it afterwards if you felt really degraded by it, but in clean, modern conditions among open-minded people, the chances of feeling super-degraded get slimmer.

As for the journalism of this story, it's interesting how they mention that more boys sell sex, but then go on to only talk about some problems girls have. Unrelated problems, at that... tons of people make the mistake of posting their nude pictures in places or to people who they know from school; that isn't necessarily related to selling sex online.

Anyway, take a look at the quote: "According to the study, 43 percent of young people between the ages of 16- and 25-years-old believe that getting paid for sex is acceptable, as long as the parties involved are in agreement".

I guess I have to say I agree with that quote, and maybe it's because I'm in that age group and most of the people commenting that this is a negative thing are older and have old-fashioned views on sex in general.

Times change, it's no big deal.
00:09 September 16, 2009 by Jan M
I think it also depends if you're in a trusting, stable relationship or not. In the circumstances and with the outlook you describe apart from trusting someone to engage in a financial transaction there's not much left is there?
00:18 September 16, 2009 by MTH
@Re-Horakhty: you are a person with a menthality of the middle ages. Whats wrong with homosexuals? im not homosexual but as long as they are good citizens who pay taxes, dont comit crimes and are peaceful they can do whatever they want in their private life. On the other hand i have read a lot of comments by you and if you dont like sweden be a patriot and go back ASAP to your home country and fight to make it better, your country needs you!
02:56 September 16, 2009 by jag2009
I believe this to be a very worrying study which not only happens in Sweden but also the rest of the world. I agree that teenagers could be "boasting", and that need to be looked at in more detail. But it would be a stupid study to spend money on when they know that could happen.

I think the younger generation in Sweden (Just like anywhere, will not be the same as elder generations, and that will forever continue) but along with the huge amount of immirgrants in Sweden, Germany, UK its just too difficult to gain such precise figures on selling sex. So much to look into as previously stated.... unemployment for example. As someone who has lived and worked in UK and Sweden for years.... I would say from my own personal opinion, that the problem is worst in Sweden, just like the privacy laws with downloading music etc..

The problem I see is if this content gets into the wrong hands.

@ markkeo - Thats a good point you made about photographs being passed on. The problem is markkeo is this is never followed up so I wouldn't say at all that Sweden are leading the way. The reason I say this is because if I was to take my girlfriends photo.... (say i dumped her and then put them all over the web) it would be a case of tracking my IP address, which can be made disguisable... also if you move to another eu country the crime wouldn't be seen as in Sweden. I think this law in Sweden is the equivalent of not picking up the dogshit in UK fine lol. But very good point markkeo.
04:22 September 16, 2009 by Jan M
Just to further illustrate the link with the economic/employment situation:-

18:21 September 16, 2009 by slickscott
You guys: I myself have no problem with people exchanging lurid fotos of themselves; Ive done it myself. People, both men and women, are sexual beings and exchanging fotos-sexting- to me is just another way of expressing ourselves to the opposite sex. Where the problem lies is when a breakup occurs and the other party gets vindictive and disseminates the fotos to other people. But a related question is this: Is it relatively easy to get laid in Sweden? These hot chicks that are photographed on this newspaper "Swedens finest" , are they easy to bed? Just curious
19:41 September 16, 2009 by Jan M
I am sure there's a reasonable possibility. After all that type of behaviour tends towards desperation and a lack of self-respect which, when paired with beauty, often provides an opportunity for exploitation.
21:00 September 16, 2009 by Coalbanks
Re-Horakty for Supreme All-Knowing Being!
23:59 September 16, 2009 by sweetpea80
this is happening all over the world. we've given tools to children who are unprepared to use them correctly
02:07 September 20, 2009 by 2persons
It's no different in the states and it does seem to be a world-wide problem.

I think we as a people have lost a lot of natural affection we once had that came from living close with family members. I think the only way to make things better is to return the care of our elderly to the family, and for family members to move back in close proximity to each other so that the young ones may learn from those who love them the most and not from strangers who care little and tell them, to their harm, the many was to fast happiness to fast money that are merely pitfalls and traps that consume what the could have been had a loving family member been there for them. But, that's just my thinking...Peace, Ta
19:44 November 4, 2009 by estrangero
Let's get real.....I don't patronize prostitutes personally but I do travel. I have seen underaged prostitutes working in most places I have visited I don't mean simply waiting on an 18th birthday I mean young; even here about 10 years ago young girls and yes boys too hawked their wares in an arcade restaurant until it was razed for a cultural center. Since I don't look for them I have no idea where they work now but I am certain they still do work; and the ones who worked there are at least 30 now I have met some as adults working more respectable less lucrative jobs. They are everywhere in every country. When I was young I knew some my age and surprise!!! they did it for money and kicks. I try not to judge others some people are doing real bad deeds in the world you remember killing and such?
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