In the early twentieth century a wider debate took place about how Swedish society was to fight the spread of contagious venereal diseases and in 1910 a government committee had written a law proposal that would dramatically reform these measures previously, Swedish physicians had been united against any measures against these diseases that did not involve the regulation of prostitutes, but this consensus was slowly withering away in the early parts of the century. Female doctors and a younger generation of venereologists was drawing the conclusion that mandatory checks of only one out of two sexes was insufficient. This article reviews the debate regarding the regulation of prostitution that took place between conservative and liberal members in the Swedish Medical Association in 1911. It depicts a fierce discussion between members that still clung to nineteenth-century ideas of women as being prone to prostitution if left idle and unemployed, and liberal members that believed social injustices such as low wages laid behind women's decisions. The study gives an insight into the complexities of building the Swedish welfare state.
The main aim of the Swedish Women's Peace reform in 1998 was to enhance criminal legal protection for women exposed to violence in heterosexual relationships and to promote gender equality. However, these ambitions risk being contravened in a masculinist criminal legal system. One problem concerns how the victim is constructed in criminal legal cases. The author argues that moral balancing and discourses of responsibility and guilt in Swedish cases constrain the agency possible for women and suggest that a more comprehensive policy in Sweden must be developed to include violent men, their agency, and their responsibility for the violence.