Peering into Online Bedroom Windows: Considering the Ethical Implications of Investigating Internet Relationships and Sexuality

Peering into Online Bedroom Windows: Considering the Ethical Implications of Investigating Internet Relationships and Sexuality

Monica Whitty (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-937-3.ch236
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Abstract

To date, there is a scarcity of literature available on the ethical concerns that accompany research into online relationships and sexuality. This chapter attempts to redress this balance. Questions are raised as to whether researchers should be permitted to lurk in chatrooms or take on different identities in order to obtain data. It is argued here that conceptions of cyberspace as one generic space is a narrow construction and that instead researchers need to consider the fuzzy boundaries between what constitutes a public and a private space online. How we perceive this space has important implications for future research.

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