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Unformatted text preview: Professor Kelemen
Social Policy and Politics:
Lessons from Europe Spring 2011
The regulation of “sin and vice” in Europe Outline
• Moral regulation
• • Teen pregnancy
Marijuana “sin and vice”
• • I’m not saying any of these things are sin and vice.
Question is how different societies define and attempt to regulate behaviors that they deem (or at some point in past deemed) sin or vice regulating morality Teen Pregnancy in US
Teen Pregnancy in US
• 70% have sex before 19th birthday
750,000 teen pregnancies per year
25% end in abortion
Situation improved in recent decades: from 117 pregnancies per 1,000 in 1990 to 70 per 1,000 in 2005, but improvements have stalled.
Data from Guttmacher Institute
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FBTeenSexEd.html Sexual Education in US
Sexual Education in US
• 1 in 3 teens receives no education about contraception
1 in 4 gets abstinence only education
36 states require that sex Ed include abstinence. 27 require that abstinence be stressed
18 states and the DC require that sex Ed programs include information on contraception; no state requires that it be stressed. Sexual Education in US:
Sexual Education in US:
• • Studies suggest that comprehensive programs that teach both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens work: encourage delayed or reduced sexual activity, reduced the number of sexual partners, or increased condom or other contraceptive use.
no evidence that abstinenceonly programs delay teen sexual activity or have other beneficial impacts on sexual behaviors Teen Pregnancy:
How do we compare? Teen Abortions
Teen Abortions STDs
Impact Why the differences between US and Why the differences between US and European countries on teen pregnancy? Same Sex Marriage
Same Sex Marriage
• • Same sex marriage is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Germany, France, UK and other EU countries have domestic partnerships (not yet in Poland, but they are debating it)
In US, five states allow same sex marriage. At federal level DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) defines marriage as union between man and woman for all fed purposes. Dozens of states explicitly define marriage as between a man and a woman. Prostitution
• Illegal in US. Legal or 'tolerated" in much of Europe
"Nevada needs to be known as the first place for innovation and investment – not as the last place where prostitution is still legal. When the nation thinks about Nevada, it should think about the world's newest ideas and newest careers – not about its oldest profession." Harry Reid last week
Arguments against ‘legalization’
Arguments for legalization
Varying approaches across Europe:
• Netherlands policy on Prostitution
Netherlands policy on Prostitution
• It had long been tolerated in ‘red light districts’
In 2000, voluntary prostitution was officially made legal, while penalties for involvement in involuntary prostitution were increased dramatically and health and safety standards put in place
Sex workers have an association: De Rode Draad advises. Sex workers on tax and pension issues
Voluntary prostitution viewed as a legit business activity Swedish policy on Prostitution
Swedish policy on Prostitution
• Prostitution was long viewed as exploitation/ social problem. Women given social assistance
1999 law targets clients; 6 months jail. No penalties for sex workers Comparing Impact
• • Netherlands: improved health and working conditions for legal prostitutes, but 2 tier system develops with underground prostitutes
Sweden: prostitution goes underground. Very few arrests. Harder to find / provide social services to sex workers Alcohol
• Sweden and Finland restrict sale of alcohol to state stores and impose high alcohol taxes
Historical roots and ongoing distrust of individuals to be able to control usage. Dutch cannabis policy
Dutch cannabis policy • Dutch policy making is highly practical and avoids moralistic agendas Macoun/Reuter article findings
Macoun/Reuter article findings
• The Netherlands ‘decriminalized’ and gradually ‘legalized’ sale of small amounts of cannabis.
Allowed ‘coffee shops’
Did legalization increase cannabis use by youth?
• • From 19841992, yes. (after early 1990s, patterns in the Netherlands followed patterns in other countries where cannabis remained illegal).
But no evidence to support ‘gateway drug’ hypothesis. Key Key conclusions …but Public Opinion and Policy in US US Cannabis Policy
US Cannabis Policy
• Illegal at federal level: schedule 1 controlled substance
Medical marijuana legal in 14 states.
Tensions between Feds and states
Efforts to fully legalize it have been rejected Why are US and Europe so Why are US and Europe so different? •
public opinion / public morality?
Which approaches have 'better' results? A 2000 study by the Swedishbased World Values Survey
shows nearly half — or more
— don't regularly attend
church in several Western
percentage of people who
"never" or "practically never"
attend church in 14
Country 1981 2000 France 59% 60% Britain 48% 55% Netherlands 41% 48% Belgium 35% 46% Sweden 38% 46% Denmark 45% 43% Norway 38% 42% Spain 26% 33% West Germany 23% 30% Finland 15% 28% ...
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- Spring '11