Deviance, regulation and the sex offender. Perspectives on the regulation of sexual offending in Australia and Sweden [article]

Nina Marie Katarina Leijon, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
2017
Sexual offending legislation has undergone sweeping changes in the Western world in the past three decades, dramatically changing the conceptualization of women's,children's and victims' rights and slowly doing away with the tradition of male sexual entitlement. The result is a shift away from the focus on violence in sexual violence, and towards a corresponding increase in the focus on victims' sexual dignity. This thesis is a comparative investigation of how perceptions of deviance have
more » ... nced legislation pertaining to sexual offending and sex offenders in two countries over the past thirty-five years (1980-2015). Those two countries are Australia and Sweden. Though the manifestation of these values appears different between the various jurisdictions of Australia and the Scandinavian countries, there are also deep similarities that point to a merging of sexual mores across countries. The framing narratives are converging towards a similar approach to regulating sexual offending. There is a 'globalization of sexuality' that can at least in part be explained by greater mobility, transnational cosmopolitanism and the hegemony of Western culture. A driving force behind this has been global and regional conventions, including European Union directives and regulations concerning the criminalization and punishment of sexual offending. The rise of the 'crime as politics' discourse has had profound effects on how crime is regulated. The politicalization of crime policy shifts the knowledge basis for policy from politicians and experts to media and the community, and adjusting crime policy to 'current values' in society becomes an explicit political goal. The law can be thought of as a messenger and one means for framing threats, by first creating them, then legitimising them by the enactment of protective legislation, and finally offering a solution. The social construction of the sex offender and the political benefits of responding to the sex offender threat link together to produce symbolic forms of regulation th [...]
doi:10.25911/5d74e832b0cc6 fatcat:vscnkluogje4jd5hiaplrau5b4