Danish men and women are now more concerned about false rape accusations since the so-called consent law came into effect. At the same time, many young Danes find it difficult to determine or express consent, leading to calls for more education on the legislation.
The so-called consent law came into effect on January 1, 2021, in Denmark and means in practice that it counts as rape if both parties have not given “consent” to sexual intercourse.
A new study by the Crime Prevention Council in Denmark now shows that there is confusion among young Danes about how the law should be practiced. Although 85 percent believe it is important to ensure consent before sex, many find it difficult to ask for or give consent. 38 percent of men between the ages of 16 and 30, for example, find it unnatural to ask for consent, while 17 percent of women between the ages of 16 and 20 find it difficult to express consent for sex.
Around 40 percent of young men find it difficult to determine if the other person consents if the other party does not express it in words. More than half of Danes communicate consent with body language and not words.
Men more worried
– In the new study, we see that many have difficulty reading body language in relation to consent. There is no right way to give consent, but even if words are not always necessary, it is important to understand each other, says Katrine Amalie Keller, knowledge consultant at the Danish Crime Prevention Council.
52 percent of Danish men are more concerned about false rape accusations since the new law came into effect. Among women, that number is 33 percent.
Nearly half of Danes (44 percent) believe that more education is needed on the consent law. As of August 1 this year, sex education is again mandatory in high school, something that was removed in Denmark over 50 years ago. However, there are no guidelines on education within the consent law and also no requirements for it to be included.
The study was conducted through a survey of Danes aged 16 to 74. Since the consent law came into effect, the number of rapes has increased in the country. In Sweden, the consent law was introduced in 2018.