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 Post subject: Re: Scandinavia and Sex
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:53 am 
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John Jeanette Solstad Remo, one of Norway's foremost transgender rights campaigners. Photo: Amnesty International

Norway to let 7-yr-olds change gender
25 June 2015

Children as young as seven would be allowed to change their legal gender under a bill proposed by Norway’s government on Thursday, bringing it one of the lowest ages for transgender rights anywhere in the world.

“This is an important area where Norway has lagged far behind many other countries for many years,” Health Minister Bent Høie said as he announced the plan during the Oslo Pride festival. “Now we can be proud that we are implementing this law.” According to the Norwegian Health Ministry, most European countries only allow citizens to change the gender assigned to them at birth after they turn 18.

However, Richard Köhler, of the Transgender Europe lobby group, told Reuters that the “gold standard” was to have no formal limit, as in Malta. “Generally it is very good to allow very young transpersons to have their gender identity respected,” he said.

Until April this year, Norway insisted that those seeking to change their legal gender undergo surgery, a practice which transgender activists argued was a violation of human rights. According to Høie, children between seven and 16 would need to consult with their parents before changing their legal gender, after which they would be able to decide for themselves, without the need for a psychiatric or medical evaluation. They would then be able to reverse the decision to change gender at will. “The proposal is historic in that it will no longer be the health service but the individual who decides if he or she has changed sex,” Hoie said in a statement on the plan.

Source: The Local Norway.

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 Post subject: Re: Scandinavia and Sex
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:44 am 
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Södersjukhuset, southern Stockholm's main hospital where the clinic will be. Photo: Tomas Oneberg/TT

Sweden opens world's first male rape centre
15 October 2015

A hospital in Stockholm is understood to be first in the world to set up an emergency department specifically for male rape victims.

The clinic at Södersjukhuset opened on Thursday as part of a strategy to ensure "gender equal" patient care. Södersjukhuset already runs a round-the-clock walk-in clinic for women and girls who have been sexually assaulted in the city, treating between 600 and 700 patients a year. Now, the hospital, which hosts the largest emergency care unit in the Nordic region, is opening its doors to men and boys who are victims of rape and sex attacks.

"We are happy that we now can finally open the first rape clinic for men following the rape clinic for women," Rasmus Jonlund, a press spokesperson for the Liberal Party, which led the campaign for the department in the Swedish capital, told The Local just ahead of the launch. "It is the first in Sweden (...) We think it is the first in the world. We haven't found another from our research on the world wide web," he added.

The opening was also celebrated by the Liberal Party's centre-right Alliance partners in Stockholm City Council; the Moderates, which are the largest group in the capital's coalition, the Christan Democrats and the Centre Party.

"Emergency medical care for raped men will be free of charge, and offered around the clock, all year," said Marie Ljungberg Schött, a local Moderate Party party politician and council representative on emergency care in a statement.
"So far there has been no specific place for men who are victims of rape to turn to. Therefore we in the Alliance have decided to change this."

In 2014, some 370 cases of sexual assault on men or boys were reported across Sweden, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, although experts believe that the actual figure is much higher. "We don't know how many people will use it (...) but we know that there are many who experience these kinds of assaults but don't currently seek care," said Jonlund. "Our hope now is that many more of these hidden victims will also be able to get help now."

Sweden has the highest rape rate in Europe, a statistic that gained global prominence in 2010, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was first accused of sex crimes in the Nordic nation, allegations which he still strongly denies. However this is partly because the country records allegations in a different way to most other countries, tracking each case of sexual violence separately. So for example if someone says they were raped by a partner every day for a fortnight, officers will record 14 potential crimes. Elsewhere, many countries would log the claim as a single incident. Nevertheless, the nation's high statistics have made rape a matter of high level political debate in recent years.

In 2014, a study by sexual education organization RFSU suggested that in most municipalities across Sweden, men were uncertain where they could get emergency help following a rape.

Inger Björklund, a spokesperson for the group told The Local in June that it was looking forward to the opening of Stockholm's new facility. "There are myths about masculinity that make it difficult for men who have been sexually traumatized to talk about their experiences," she said. "A clinic focusing on men who have been sexually abused will contribute to the awareness of experiences of sexual abuse among men and make it more possible to meet men's needs."

Jonlund said on Thursday that he hoped the new clinic in Stockholm would also be able to "spread the knowledge" aquired by its efforts, in order to help other medical centres provide the best care possible for male victims. He also argued it was essential that work also continued to prevent rapes happening across Sweden. "Men shouldn't have to come to this kind of clinic at all," he said.

Source: The Local Sweden.

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 Post subject: Re: Scandinavia and Sex
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:26 pm 
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Norway set to allow gender change without medical intervention
March 18, 2016

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A participant of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) "Euro Pride" parade is pictured with a rainbow flag in Oslo, Norway on June 28, 2014 (AFP Photo/Bendiksby, Terje)

Oslo (AFP) - Norway's healthcare ministry on Friday proposed allowing people to legally change their gender without the need for any surgery, hormone treatment or sterilisation, a move hailed by Amnesty International.

The ministry introduced a bill proposing that "people who want to change their legal gender are no longer required to undergo medical treatment." The bill is expected to pass with a broad majority in parliament.

"Norway is in the forefront when it comes to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights. But our current system for changing legal gender is unacceptable and has been unchanged for nearly 60 years. This proposal is in accordance with human rights," Healthcare Minister Bent Hoie said in a statement. The bill "is historic because it is now the individual and not the health services that decide when he or she has changed legal gender," he said.

As in many other countries, people who want to officially change sex in Norway must currently undergo a long slew of procedures that usually take many years. They have to go through in-depth psychiatric tests, hormone treatments and surgery for irreversible sterilisation. "It's a very intrusive process," said Patricia Kaatee of Amnesty Norway.

The bill to be submitted to lawmakers states "that a person who feels that their gender differs from the sex they were given at birth, has the right to change this based on their own experience," the health ministry said. People will have to fill out a document and send it to the nearest tax office, which registers civil status. "It's the same procedure that has existed for changing your name since 2008. You can even do it in one click on the Internet," Ingvild Endestad of Norway's LGBT association said.

The age requirement to change gender will be lowered from 18 to 16, with no parental authorisation required. For minors aged six to 16, parents will be required to authorise the change. If one parent opposes, authorities may decide "in the child's best interest." Children under the age of six will only be allowed to change gender if the child was born with a doctor-certified "genital ambiguity".

Amnesty International hailed the bill as a "historic breakthrough for transgender rights", and urged the Norwegian parliament to vote in favour of it to end "decades of discriminatory practices." Norway would become one of the most liberal countries in the matter. Argentina has since 2012 authorised gender changes by declaration only.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Scandinavia and Sex
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:30 pm 
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Are Swedes having less sex? The government wants to know
By KARL RITTER
29 July 2016

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Worried that Swedes aren't having enough sex, the government wants to analyze the bedroom activities of its citizens in a major new study.

It's been 20 years since the last in-depth study of the sex habits of the Scandinavian welfare state, so Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom says it's high time for another survey. One of the goals of the investigation, set to be completed in 2019, is to find out whether there's any truth to Swedish tabloid reports that Swedes are having less sex than they used to. "It's important to investigate whether that is the case and if so, what the reason is," he wrote Friday in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. If stress and other health issues are affecting Swedes' sex lives, he said, "that is also a political problem."

Morgan Eklund, an official in Wikstrom's office, said the minister was referring primarily to a 2013 survey of 3,000 people by the Aftonbladet tabloid, which found that lovemaking is on the wane in Sweden, a country with a reputation of being sexually liberated. Eklund said the survey was not scientific enough to be used as the basis of government policies "but it points in a direction that can be interesting to follow up."

In a separate article on the government's website, Wikstrom said the Social Democratic-led government needs better information about people's sex habits to guide its policies related to sexual and reproductive health. "Sex is an area that strongly influences people's health, so we can't just talk about things like, for example, venereal disease, but also things that are positive and lust-filled about sex," Wikstrom said.

The study will be carried out by the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Scandinavia and Sex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Norway reveals rape and sexual assault scandal in Lapland
by Pierre-Henry DESHAYES
28 November 2017

OSLO (AFP) - Norwegian police said Tuesday they had uncovered 151 alleged sexual assaults, including child rape, in a small community in Lapland, sending shock waves across the country.

The case has highlighted longstanding distrust between national authorities and the indigenous Sami community, of which most victims and suspects are part of. An investigation was launched after the Verdens Gang newspaper (VG) last year published testimonies of 11 men and women claiming to have been assaulted in Tysfjord, a northern municipality located above the Arctic Circle with less than 2,000 inhabitants.

A new police report identified 82 victims aged between four and 75, and 92 suspects, including three women, with some falling into both categories. Around 70 percent were members of the Sami, formerly known as the Lapps. Many were also followers of Laestadianism, a conservative Lutheran revival movement.

Two people have so far been charged with 10 assaults in total, the police said, adding that more indictments could follow. The report showed that of the 151 sex assault cases -- including 43 rapes, three of them on children -- more than 100 were dropped mainly due to the statute of limitations. Some cases date as far back as 1953.

"The police have no reason to believe that ethnicity or religious beliefs are an explanation to the assaults that took place," police officer Tone Vangen told a news conference. But she stressed that certain "mechanisms" in this community "have made it difficult for things to emerge". She said some suspects had turned to religion for repentance instead of the judicial authorities. There's "a strong need to close the ranks in the family in a situation where the Norwegian society is looking down on you," Vangen added. But she also apologised for police having failed to act after several complaints had been filed.

Lars Magne Andreassen, director of a Sami cultural centre in Tysfjord, told AFP that he was divided between "pain" and "pride". "It's painful to note that there have been so many cases over so many years... and serious for some," Andreassen said but expressed "pride over society daring to break the silence". "In the Tysfjord case, silence of the victims was met with a similar silence from the authorities," he said. "It's not so much the fact that the Sami have a cultural problem which we should clean up but the fact that no one has listened to them," Andreassen added. "The scope (of the facts) is huge," the mayor of Tysfjord Tor Asgeir Johansen told Norwegian news agency NTB. "This is a small community and this of course affects it," he added.

The Sami population is estimated between 40,000 and 60,000 in Norway but this figure is difficult to count accurately due to migratory flows and ethnic blends. Samis received an official apology from Norway's King Harald in 1997 for facing discrimination. Their way of life, which is closely associated to nature, has become threatened by mineral mining, wind farms and extensive logging, which are encroaching more and more upon reindeer herding grounds and fishing areas.

Source: AFP

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