Romance novels are attractive not just because they are a gratifying escape but also because they sometimes feel like a respite from from the significant hostility that a lot of literature shows women.
Clark’s lecture focused on “Sex: Why is Europe Different?” She discussed the popular idea that Europeans are more open with their sexuality than Americans.
“Europeans tend to regard sex in a matter of fact way,” Clark said.
Many European couples live together, have children and only marry years later or “out of order” compared to Americans. The teenage birthrate is 15 to 19 percent compared to the United States’ 40.2 percent. Abortion rates are also lower in Europe than in America, Clark said.
Sex education must be taught in European schools and parents cannot pull their students out of the class. Schools provide condoms and birth control for students.
...Clark credited the welfare state and sexual liberation movements of Europe for the openness.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Europe saw a backlash against the church and its strict rules regarding homosexuality and pre-marital sex. After World War II, consumer societies replaced the church’s role. Women and teenagers began working, giving them a new-found independence and the birth control pill was introduced in 1961. The church could no longer respond to the changing society and church attendance fell.
Better welfare was also introduced. The government gave allowances to families, childcare for single women and universal healthcare.
“I always wondered why Europe was more liberal with sex, but the welfare state explains that,” said senior history major Kyle Mathers.
"It's absurd that sex workers don't have more protection, and their reputation suffers from the victimization. Jasmine suffered from the reputation and from someone spreading lies about her," explained Jacobsson, who had professional ties with Jasmine through Rose Alliance, where the mother of two was a board member.
Jasmine told her colleagues in the Rose Alliance that the district court took away her children because she "romanticized sex work" and that it deemed her an unfit parent. Social services received a tip-off suggesting the she was using drugs and drinking in front of her children. There were even suggestions that the 27-year-old was working from home, Jacobsson told The Local.
"This couldn't be further from the truth. For one thing, she hardly touched alcohol, but also, she was an upper-class sex worker. She would be coming into Stockholm from Västerås to luxury hotels, just once or twice a week, for a fee of around 4,000 kronor ($610) per hour," she added.
"She was doing it all for her kids. And she enjoyed doing it. You tell me another job where a mother can earn 6,000 or 7,000 kronor a week and still remain a stay-at-home mum."
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