Skarhed admits scientific method was lacking in evaluation of Swedish law against buying sex

Louise Persson and I have twice complained loudly in the Swedish media about the complete absence of scientific principle and method in the government’s evaluation of its law criminalising clients of sex workers. Anna Skarhed never replied, nor did anyone else who might be expected to want to defend the report published in July. Now it turns out that in December Skarhed admitted quite openly to a reporter from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention that she never cared about science or methodology the slightest bit.

Some have objected to the scientific validity of our investigation. Which is fine, but in my view we have been able to show that the law has had a effect in accordance to the objective: to show that we don’t want prostitution in society.

[En del har haft invändningar mot vetenskapligheten i vår utredning. Det kan man ha, men enligt min syn har vi kunnat visa att lagen haft effekt utifrån syftet: att visa att vi inte vill ha prostitution i samhället.]

It is wrong to refer to effect when you have done no research to find out if one even exists, but Skarhed’s meaning is clear: The goal of the so-called evaluation was never to evaluate anything but instead to demonstrate ideology: a typical End Demand strategy. So it is Orwellian double-speak to claim anything was actually investigated or evaluated. All they did was pretend, and spend public money on it.

This should be front-page news! Although I know that many Swedish people object to this sort of philistine arrogance, it is not so easy to dismantle a policy once it has become embedded in bureaucracy and forms part of a national brand. However, there are indications that more people than usual are annoyed – about which, more later.

Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist

6 thoughts on “Skarhed admits scientific method was lacking in evaluation of Swedish law against buying sex

  1. Divinity33372

    Thank you so much for the work you do. I made a video on this post as well as the one about the Danish numbers. You can also click my name to see it.

  2. Asehpe

    I am actually very curious about the situation in Sweden. I always found it interesting that Sweden wanted to be the avant-garde in social progressivism, that it was ready to try interesting experiments that would lead to a higher level of social welfare and well-being. This would seem to imply a willingness to discuss the various options, which often had not yet been tried elsewhere; which necessitates an open mind to different viewpoints.

    If even in the Swedish debate a certain close-mindedness managed to enter the debate (with people dismissing science as relevant, as Justice Chancellor Skarhed just did), that would weaken the claim that Sweden is as open a society as is possible. At what point does pride in one’s progressive ideals become arrogance before others’ different views?

    1. Patrik

      Your assumption about swedish open mindedness is very wrong indeed! Swedish society is extremely one-sided with consensus being the all-important element. Politicians typically take on the role of the family head, with the entire population being the family members. Hence wordings like “We don’t want to have..”, i.e speaking for the entire population without acknowledging any possibility of any sane subject of the state differing in opinion.

  3. laura agustin Post author

    again you raise a deep question, the answer to which requires understanding a lot of facts and history that are not just like neighbouring countries’. there is a huge value in sweden on consensus, on believing that everyone agrees about all the Important Things. as i said to you somewhere else, eventually i will feel better about this theorising.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Swedish Law | Demand | Buying Sex | Evaluation | Ideology | Laura Agustín - the Naked Anthropologist on Migration, Trafficking and Sex --

  5. Pingback: Creeping Rot « The Honest Courtesan

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.