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And now for some…PORN!!. Recently…. Apple vs. Denmark http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/12/06/one-danish-tabloids-beef-with-apple/ What is art and what is “lewd”?. Pro-porn. Sex-positive Empower women to express themselves sexually; participate actively

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recently
Recently…
  • Apple vs. Denmark
    • http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/12/06/one-danish-tabloids-beef-with-apple/
    • What is art and what is “lewd”?
pro porn
Pro-porn
  • Sex-positive
  • Empower women to express themselves sexually; participate actively
  • Depict women in powerful situations, enjoying sex; women SEE themselves in sexually powerful positions
  • Women are choosing to be in these situations
    • In light of our gender discussion, are women autonomous moral agents?
anti porn
Anti-porn
  • Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon in the late 1980s
    • Anti-porn ordinances: 1983 Minneapolis and other cities in Canada and U.S.
    • Porn as hate speech
    • Porn represents discrimination towards women; made only for men, depicts women in powerless situations
    • Women are objects to be looked at (gaze), consumed
    • Women cannot “choose” to be in porn because of their lowered status in society; easily coerced, easy money
    • Realistically depicting sex?
internet porn
Internet porn
  • So what’s the difference between video and online?
    • Move from “underground” to more “mainstream”
      • Free!
      • Accessible to most with Internet
      • More easily distributed
      • More anonymous
virtual sex
Virtual sex
  • Sex-related activities are performed in online communities, as well as virtual-reality applications such as some video games, Second Life, etc.
  • Sometimes used to enhance “physical” sex… and sometimes exists solely in this sphere.
    • Do we then “become” the technology? Cyborgs?
    • Not “real” – so doesn’t affect us (or them)
virtual sex1
Virtual sex
  • Lots of kinds!
    • Cybersex
    • Phone sex
    • Sexting
    • Chatting
    • Skype video
  • Mediated by technology – written, spoken, not “physical”… again, where is this human/machine line?
    • But isn’t sometimes physical sex also mediated? Combination of both? What is the difference?
  • Who has access to this type of sex?
    • Technology raises status?
the issues relationships
The Issues: Relationships
  • Changing the nature of our interpersonal relationships
    • Detachment from actual physical being
      • If your spouse goes to a brothel, is that worse than watching porn all day on the Internet?
      • Can you cheat with a machine?
    • Emotional attachment?
      • While it isn’t “physical” … could it be considered “emotional” cheating? Will this change our views on cheating?
    • But where does the line BLUR?
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSiJBduvDA&feature=fvsr
the issues anonymous release
The Issues: Anonymous Release
  • Anonymity: Pros and Cons
    • Allows for experimentation; helps discover what we “really” like without societal pressures
    • Could it be a “safe” release for sex offenders, pedophiles?
    • BUT…
    • No longer need a distributor; can make illegal, harmful porn without worrying about being caught
the issues changing views on reality
The issues: Changing views on “reality”?
  • Sex:
    • “Real,” physical
    • We understand it as having the power to hurt someone both physically AND emotionally.
  • Porn:
    • Detached; Gaze
    • But… still potential for harm
      • Addiction; detachment from spouse; person on screen coerced
      • Are these exemplified with increased accessibility?
reality continued
Reality continued
  • Robots/Cyborgs:
    • Machine or human? Is this different than using a “toy” especially if robots don’t have “feelings”?
    • Would a human cheating with a robot be “cheating”? Is one robot more human than another?
      • Humanization of human-robot relationship
      • Can a robot be accused of “cheating”?
      • Do we need a particular ethics in our way we treat robots?
  • Avatars:
    • Can avatars – or invasion of - cause physical and/or emotional harm/distress?
rapelay
RapeLay
  • RapeLay
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RapeLay
    • Simulated rape of young women
    • Virtual harm? Or harmless fantasy?
lambdamoo rape in cyberspace
LAMBDAmoo: “Rape in cyberspace”
  • LambdaMOO virtual community – oldest and one of the most active, with 3000 players since 1990. Social interactions of avatars, etc. http://www.lambdamoo.info/lambdamoomap/lambdamoomap.htm
  • Creation of a “voodoo doll” program by an anonymous person/avatar named Mr. Bungle - took over other avatars, and forced them to perform sex acts.
  • Considered a sexual violation of others’ avatars, and of themselves – suffered actual emotional trauma.
  • Community couldn’t decide what to do, and one of the moderators terminated Mr. Bungle’s account – users could not seek physical/offline punishment.
but it s just an avatar
But it’s just an avatar…
  • The argument from moral development reasons that:
    • the way we treat virtual characters can affect the way we treat real-life people.
    • But then again… maybe this is an outlet so it prevents physical harm from happening?
  • The argument from psychological harm reasons that:
    • the way we interact with virtual characters can cause real-life psychological harm
solutions
Solutions?
  • But how do we deal with ethical violations in virtual realities?
    • Cannot prosecute Mr. Bungle because no physical rape occurred
    • Perhaps sue for emotional distress?
      • Hard to prove
      • Hard to find “him”…?
  • Do we need new “laws” for cyberspace? Or, just apply existing laws?
    • Major policy vacuum…
with great power
With great power…
  • … I won’t say it again.
  • If you are free to “experiment,” and these worlds are not “real,” is everything okay? Is no one being harmed?
  • Is it “ethical” to place restrictions on the type of virtual sex engaged in… or is it rather unethical to restrict one’s pleasure?
  • Who is “harmed”? Do we need a “sex ethics?”