Prostitution & the Sex Trade Prostitution & the Sex Trade

Prostitution is legal in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands, but each country applies its own policies and laws. You will explore how different cultures construct very different narratives about sex, gender, and rights, and grapple with conflicting views.



This program is right for you if you are a gender or women’s studies major or you study sociology, anthropology, human rights, or international relations. The topics explored relating to prostitution and human trafficking will apply to a future career in law, academia, or social work.


>> Prostitution and the Sex Trade in Europe
This course focuses on prostitution as a parallel or grey economy in Europe. You will gain insight into the historical, cultural, and political aspects of prostitution in Scandinavia and in other European countries such as the Netherlands. You will also examine prostitution from different perspectives ranging from sex workers, customers, and anti-trafficking advocacy groups, to law enforcement officials and politicians.


DIS has over 200 elective courses for you to build your curriculum from after choosing your required core course. You have to opportunity to focus on your major or diversify by selecting any combination of courses based on your needs. Click here for electives related to human rights, legal studies, and more.

DIS Student Blogger

Wonder what it is like to study Prostitution & the Sex Trade in Copenhagen? 

Find out here on Andrea's blog!


Elective Course Feature

Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize pornography. Consider enrolling in the Pornography in Scandinavia elective course to examine the history of pornography from print to feminist and queer porn, and the specific conditions which enabled the legalization of pornography in Denmark such as the welfare state, gender perceptions, and the politics of equality.


Going to the Red Light District on study tour in Amsterdam gave us a new perspective on prostitution, as did talking with sex workers and employees of organizations that work to better the lives of prostitutes or fight against trafficking.

As I walked through the Red Light district, both on our tours and on my own time, I was struck by a simultaneous sense of empowerment and imprisonment within the windows where the women stood. It was an extremely thought-provoking five days.

Rachel Fishman Elon University
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