Rape in the Nordic Countries : Continuity and Change book cover
1st Edition

Rape in the Nordic Countries
Continuity and Change

ISBN 9781138606517
Published November 15, 2019 by Routledge
262 Pages

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Book Description

The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429467608, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

While the Nordic countries are listed at the top in most international rankings of gender equality and citizens’ feelings of security, studies on the prevalence of sexual victimisation present a different picture, suggesting that the very countries that have invested much in establishing gender equality actually see a high prevalence of sexual violence. This book sheds light on the phenomenon and construction of rape and other forms of sexual violence within the Nordic region, exploring the ways in which rape and sexual violence are dealt with through criminal law and considering governmental policies aimed at combatting it, with a special focus on legal regulations and developments. Thematically organised, it offers new research on perpetrators, victimhood, criminal justice and prevention. Multi-disciplinary in approach, it brings together the latest work from a range of scholars to offer insights into the situation in the five Nordic countries, asking how and why rape and other forms of sexual violence occur, whilst also addressing the timely issues of online sexual cultures, BDSM and the grey areas of sexual offences. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, criminology and law with interests in gender and sexual violence.

Table of Contents

1. A Nordic Research Agenda on Rape and Sexual Violence  2. Theorising Sexual Violence in Intimate Relations in Scandinavia: A Literature Review 3. Cultivating Ethical Negotiations or Fetishizing Consent in BDSM?  4. Understanding Unwanted Sexual Touching: A Situational Approach  5. Making the Case for ‘Good Enough’ Rape-Prevalence Estimates: Insights from a School-Based Survey Experiment Among Norwegian Youths  6. From the Protection of Marriage to the Defence of Equality – The Finnish Debate Over the Sexual Autonomy of Wives  7. Towards Voluntariness in Swedish Rape Law: Hyper-Medialised Group Rape Cases and the Shift in the Legal Discourse  8. Rape Law and Coercive Circumstances  9. Empowered or Protected? The ‘Problem’ of Complainants’ Rights in Danish and Norwegian Preparatory Works on Criminal Procedure  10. Othering the Rapist: Rurality, Sexual Violence, and the Bjästa Case  11. Sexual Transgressing: Situational and Narrative Perspectives  12. Rape in the Age of Internet  13. Digital Sexual Violence: Image-Based Sexual Abuse Among Danish Youth  14. Breaking the Silence: Social Media Disclosures of Sexual Violence in Iceland

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Marie Bruvik Heinskou works as Commissioning Editor at Hans Reitzels Publishing House and as external lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. She is former Associate Professor of Sociology at Aalborg University, Denmark, and has published on sexual violence and violence in leading international journals.

May-Len Skilbrei is Professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo, Norway. She also holds a position at Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) at Oslo Metropolitan University. Her research interests are gender, sexuality, power and law and she has published books, articles and chapters internationally on how Nordic governments and civil society actors approach prostitution, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Kari Stefansen works as a Research Professor at Norwegian Social Research, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. She is the co-editor of Collaborating against Child Abuse: Exploring the Nordic Barnahus Model. Her current research focuses on youth and sexual violence.


"This edited collection constitutes a landmark in helping a wider audience appreciate the challenges in assuming a 'Nordic exceptionalism' when it comes to rape and sexual violence. The chapters in this book demonstrate the continuities and differences within Nordic countries and places elsewhere in the world in making sense of what counts as rape and sexual violence, how to count these experiences, and how to make sense of the perpetrators both 'real' and 'digital'. It is a collection which is remarkable in its nuance and its wider contribution to the literature. No matter how much you might think you know about rape and sexual violence, you will definitely benefit from reading the excellent and thought provoking contributions found here." – Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, University of Liverpool, UK, and Conjoint Chair of Criminology, Monash University, Australia

"This is a truly exceptional volume on how to study, make sense of, and address rape and sexual harm. Focusing on the Nordic region, it provides rich new research on perpetration, victimization, criminal justice, and prevention. The chapters also develop theoretical frameworks that can and should be engaged well beyond this context. It is necessary reading for all those interested in the Nordic region, and to all those interested sexual assault, gender, and public policy." – Shamus Khan, Professor & Chair Department of Sociology, Columbia University, USA