In 1967 pornographic texts were legalised in Denmark; just two years later pornographic images were also legalised.
By Katarina Blomqvist, 2006
KVINFO.dk/ In 1967 pornographic texts were legalised in Denmark; just two years later pornographic images were also legalised. Denmark was the first country in the world to decontrol pornography, and for a number of years in the early 1970s pornography was a major export commodity – making Denmark both famous and infamous internationally.
Denmark is still among those countries in the world with the most liberal pornography legislation. Child pornography and other pornography involving violation of the law – sex with animals, for example – are banned. It is against the law to sell pornography to children under the age of 16.
The 1967 legalisation of pornography was an aspect of the cultural-radical movements of the time. Pornography was part of a sexual liberation project designed to confront taboos and develop an approach to sexuality that was direct and natural, uninhibited by prohibition and restriction.
Today, more than 30 years later, pornography is more visible than ever. Pornography is now an industry with a huge annual turnover. The public sphere has become increasingly sexualised, and the imagery of pornography is now quite standard both in advertising and fashion.
Pornography has always been criticised by feminists on grounds of the misogynistic and degrading nature of most of its products. In Denmark, however, it is only in recent years that protest groups have been set up to campaign against the ‘pornographisation’ of the public sphere.