The Ringrose, Harvey, Gill & Livingstone (2013) article argues that it is unfair that women and girls suffer the double standard of conduct when engaged in sexting. The conclusion of this article is particularly meaningful. The authors ask, “What would it mean for us to live in a world where teen girls could unproblematically take, post, or send an image of their breasts to whomever they wished?” In context of the conclusion of this article, what do you think it takes for someone to send a nude? What kind of security/reassurance/protection do people require? Based on the ethical decisionmaking frameworks, what do you think should happen to someone if they broke another person’s trust? Is the best advice to not send nudes at all? Why?
Sending and receiving nudes is an act that I would never partake in. It is such a burden to place on both parties. The moral trust needed to share materials this intimate is significant. It would be difficult to share information like this, even with an individual that I am close to. As a man, I cannot begin to imagine how women and girls feel about the matter. The double standard they face is unfair, with an example of the year 10 girls discussing how boys are called sick and girls given the title of ‘skets’ (Ringrose, Harvey, Gill, & Livingstone, 2013). A double standard is placed on women; they are expected to be better and smarter than men. Sickeningly, the victims are blamed for not being smart enough to avoid being in that position, and referred to as ‘skets’, while the perpetrators are given a pass (Ringrose et al).
Hypothetically, if I were to send an intimate photo to an individual I would need to have a strong emotional and physical relationship with that person. There has to be a level of trust and understanding with them, it would require me to trust them with my life. The photos in question could destroy my life if they ended up in the wrong hands. It would be more comforting if I got intimate photos from them as well, because it put both of us in a vulnerable position, rather than just one. If someone were to break that trust, I would utilize the rights approach from the framework for ethical decision-making (Markkula Center, 2018).
This is the best approach as its goal is to respect the rights of individuals, including privacy. It best suits this situation, as this is a breach of my right to privacy, the image was meant to be between and the person I entrusted. With my trust being broken they have taken advantage of our relationship. People should be treated with equality and fairness, if they are not there is something ethically wrong. In this case, the person not keeping someone else’s right to privacy and trust is being unethical and deserves to face punishment, or pay to repair the damage they have caused.
With respect to all individuals’ freedom to act how they please, I would never send nudes and would not want to receive someone else’s. Having the responsibility that comes with the possession of such intimate pictures is too much to bear. I would find it difficult to trust someone this much, and would not want to burden them with the responsibility of holding my right to privacy. Relationships are complex; in order to share these types of photos, there has to be a solid foundation of trust in place. Furthermore, with digital security also being a factor it can sometimes be out of peoples’ hands.
I respect an individual’s right to share images of themselves, they deserve the right to do with their body as they please. It is wrong to blame victims for their judgment and choice to share their body, instead, the perpetrators should be targeted. Moreover, violating someone’s trust and manipulating them is unethical, if someone wishes to share images of their body with another person, they should feel comfortable doing so. If their trust is broken, they should feel respected not mocked, and those guilty should answer for being unethical.
Ringrose, J., Harvey, L., Gill, R. & Livingstone, S. (2013). Teen girls, sexual double standards, and ‘sexting’: Gendered value in digital image exchange. Feminist Theory 14(3), 305–323.