Jens Rydström

Jens Rydström


Personal profile


My latest book, Loneliness and Its Opposite: Sex, Disability, and the Ethics of Engagement, which I wrote together with social anthropologist Don Kulick, compares the situation for people with severe physical disabilities and people with intellectual disabilities with  special regard to sexuality and intimacy. It is a comparative study between Denmark and Sweden, two typical Scandinavian welfare states. The book shows how a large group of people in Sweden are denied the right to develop their sexuality, while the Danish authorities are actively working with various forms of sexual assistance. The book also discusses the ethical implications of different kinds of approaches to the area of sexuality and disability.

My newest research area is prostitution/sex work. Since 2014 I am a member of the European project Prospol - Comparing European prostitution policies: Understanding scales and cultures of governance, with over 40 researchers from 24 European countries. It is a COST Action and part of the European research framework Horizon 2020. My contribution to the project consists of a historical study: Scandinavian sex workers’ organizations: Origins and contemporary challenges, which presents a comparative study of the history of political and labour union movements of sex workers in different Scandinavian countries.

A smaller project concerns the history of Swedish Gender Studies in Academia from the late 1970s to today. What started as forums for women’s studies and forums for women researchers in different parts of the country are now institutionalised and offer advanced research and education from undergraduate to postgraduate studies. How did this develop? What resistance and what obstacles must be overcome? Has the political mandate remained the same, changed or disappeared over the years?

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UKÄ subject classification

  • Gender Studies
  • History


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Collaborations the last five years

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