More than twice as many young men in Sweden sell sex as do women, a study published Monday by the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs said.
According to the study, 2.1 percent of Swedish males aged 16 to 25 said they had prostituted themselves in 2012, compared to 0.8 percent of women.
“Behind these figures, there are about 20,000 people who need help,” said Marie Nyman, a spokeswoman for the board.
“We have a hard time understanding why guys outnumber girls,” she said.
A representative for the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education told the news agency TT that it could be speculated that young gay men “have an easier time accepting their sexuality if they do it in exchange for something, like a few beers or a recharge of their phone card.”
The study found that 21.9 percent of youths aged 16 to 25 “think it is acceptable that others have sexual relations in exchange for compensation,” adding that young men are in general more tolerant than young women.
Half of the clients of male and female prostitutes under the age of 26 were also under the age of 26, Nyman said.
The study was based on responses from the 2,254 Swedes questioned in the survey.
A 2006 study published in a US medical journal specialised in sexually transmitted diseases, entitled “Estimates of the Number of Female Sex Workers in Different Regions of the World”, showed that Sweden had one of the lowest rates of female prostitution in the world, at just 0.1 percent.