The Instigator
Tyunglebo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
dogparktom
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

By accepting pre-existing social norms, "cybersex" and "sexting" should be considered "adultery".

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
dogparktom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,218 times Debate No: 9222
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

Tyunglebo

Pro

Miriam-Webster defines adultery thusly, :
"voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband".

Assuming the absence of an "open relationship", one must assume that in practical terms, (if not in legal or technical terms), simulating sexual activities through "cybersex" or "sexting" with someone other than one's romantic partner would also constitute "adultery" or cheating on one's lover, all things being equal.

Part of the commitment that individuals make to one another when forming a romantic partnership, and particularly marriage in American societies, is exclusivity. "Forsaking all others", as is said in the marriage vows of some ceremonies. Ideally then it is a conscious decision to offer ALL of a one's intimacies to a partner.

Despite the dictionary's definition, the overwhelming social norm dictates that giving or receiving any form of physical gratification, even that which is not technically "sexual intercourse", (such as oral sex) is considered to be "cheating" amongst partners. Therefore, the distance and the medium by which that stimulation is given or received is immaterial, if it is outside of one's partnership.

Cybersex and sexting, are, therefore, cheating.
dogparktom

Con

Your Definition:
The definition of 'adultery' in Minnesota law is identical in content to the definition that you cite. 1 You know the specific act that is prohibited, namely, 'sexual intercourse'. Both definitions are clear and precise. Clarity and precision are good qualities in our communications whether in law, politics, or in ethical discourse. "Cybersex" and "sexting" are not clear and precise terms in the sense that they specify the human acts that are included in the terms. Including them in the definition of 'adultery' deprives the current definition of its clarity and precision. Regarding politics, you will recall that former President Clinton tried to obscure the specific sexual acts that he engaged in with Monica Lewinsky. Like Clinton, your proposal would create confusion and destroy 'adultery' as a useful definition.

Regarding your second paragraph 2, you are assuming what you are supposed to establish through argument, namely, that cybersex and sexting should be considered adultery.

Regarding your third paragraph, I agree that, culturally, fidelity and sexual exclusivity are at least implicit understandings in romantic relationships, marital and non marital. However, generally, the understandings prohibit only actual physical interactions between people, not solo actions such as viewing pornography alone on your computer.

Regarding your fourth paragraph, I agree that generally sexual fidelity and exclusivity is the "social norm." However, I contend that only actual physical (sexual) acts with non-partners are prohibited by the norm. The porn industry is huge. Factually, I contend that in many relationships, marital and otherwise, a partner condones or tolerates the other partner's use of porn. AND SUCH PARTNER DOES NOT CONSIDER THE OTHER'S USE OF PORN TO BE "CHEATING." We have a factual disagreement.

Your Conclusion:
"Cybersex and sexting, are, therefore, cheating."

My Conclusion:
Cybersex and sexting are obviously not 'adultery' in REASON and should not be considered as adultery in FACT.

Whether cybersex and sexting constitutes 'cheating' within a relationship would depend upon the attitudes, understandings, and candor of the partners in the relationship. Factually, they are not currently considered a 'cheating'.

_______________________
1. Minn. Stat. 609.36
ADULTERY.
Subdivision 1.Acts constituting.
When a married woman has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband, whether married or not, both are guilty of adultery...
Debate Round No. 1
Tyunglebo

Pro

Tyunglebo forfeited this round.
dogparktom

Con

Ty,

I respectfully ask if you concede that 'cybersex" and "sexting" SHOULD NOT be considered "adultery"? Further, that the debate has ended?

Tom
Debate Round No. 2
Tyunglebo

Pro

The counter arguments are not without logic in their own course. And they have indeed pointed out manners in which my initial presentation lacked some degree of clarity on certain aspects of the topic at hand. To this I concede, but not on my initial opinion on the subject.

My intent was to put forth the notion that given the social norms which currently apply, and the reasons for which they seem to apply, cybersex should not be seen any differently. (Setting aside the legalities for a legitimate, but separate debate amongst other parties at some other time.)

The notion of cybersex not being "clear and precise" terms, because no specific human acts are identified with it would, I gather, depend on where and how one chose to define the terms. Miriam-Webster, the same dictionary from which I produced the definition of "adultery" in my opening remarks, has no entry for either "cybersex" nor "sexting". I am sure some dictionaries do have one, but I contend that such grammatical specificity is not required to consider the acts to be against the socially accepted notion of sexual fidelity.

Indeed, the very reason I included the dictionary definition of adultery, was to contrast it with the commonly accepted notion of what adultery is in our society. The dictionary I quote mentions nothing of, as I said, anal, or oral sex. Yet both are very specific acts that would, I contend, be considered adultery if committed with someone other than one's partner. In other words, the very nature of our social norms seems to transcend what the dictionary says about adultery. And if it can do so for that term, I believe our norms can, and do in fact, transcend a lack of specific actions when it comes to the ideas of cybersex and sexting, and in so doing, ought to view them as adultery as well.

Indeed, perhaps the term "cheating" also provided by Mirriam-Webster serves the argument better...
"To be sexually unfaithful". While sexuality has myriad meanings, by definition cybersex would be a sexual act, and would, therefore, again be considered "cheating", even if not "adultery." Not to mention the emotional issues involved in same.

As for the point about President Clinton, whatever side of this issue one may fall on, I contend that contrary to destroying and weakening the terms of adultery or cheating, my view point actually strengthens both. By attaching a new set of behaviors to the definition of "adultery" or "cheating", it becomes more specific, and not less so, and is therefore more powerful, not less.
dogparktom

Con

Here are some useful definitions for sex acts. Considering 'cybersex' and 'sexting' as 'adultery' is unnecessary. And your proposal will cause confusion.

'Oral sex' is fellatio. see http://dictionary.reference.com...
'Anal sex' is sodomy. see http://dictionary.reference.com...
'fornication' - see http://encarta.msn.com...
'bestiality' - see http://dictionary.reference.com...
'crime against nature' see http://dictionary.reference.com... against nature

'cybersex' - see http://en.wikipedia.org... :
"Cybersex, computer sex, internet sex or net sex is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more persons connected remotely via a computer network send one another sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. It is a form of role-playing in which the participants pretend they are having actual sexual relations"

"Cybersex sometimes includes real life masturbation. The quality of a cybersex encounter typically depends upon the participants' abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their partners. Imagination and suspension of disbelief are also critically important. Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g. among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another. In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of webcams to transmit real-time video of the partners"

You state:
"My intent was to put forth the notion that given the social norms which currently apply, and the reasons for which they seem to apply, cybersex should not be seen any differently. (Setting aside the legalities for a legitimate, but separate debate amongst other parties at some other time.)"

I again repeat and respond:

"Your Conclusion:
"Cybersex and sexting, are, therefore, cheating."

My Conclusion:
Cybersex and sexting are obviously not 'adultery' in REASON and should not be considered as adultery in FACT.

Whether cybersex and sexting constitutes 'cheating' within a relationship would depend upon the attitudes, understandings, and candor of the partners in the relationship. Factually, they are not currently considered as 'cheating'"

FACTUALLY, I CONTEND THAT MOST PEOPLE IN RELATIONSHIPS NOW, WHERE ONE PARTY ENGAGES IN CYBERSEX, DO NOT CONSIDER SUCH CYBERSEX AS "CHEATING".

YOUR PROPOSAL, TO GENERALLY CONSIDER CYBERSEX AS 'CHEATING", REGARDLESS OF THE DESIRES OF THE PARTIES TO A RELATIONSHIP, IS UNFAIR IN THAT IT REMOVES FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND WILL FACILITATE DISCORD BETWEEN PARTIES.
Debate Round No. 3
Tyunglebo

Pro

Tyunglebo forfeited this round.
dogparktom

Con

I request that you concede that 'cybersex' and 'sexting' should not be considered as either'adultery' or as 'cheating'.
Debate Round No. 4
Tyunglebo

Pro

Tyunglebo forfeited this round.
dogparktom

Con

Thanks, Ty, for a very interesting and challenging debate.
Tom
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by asiandebater 5 years ago
asiandebater
i think pro should have won
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
CON gets all 7 points due to multiple forfeits. CON also had much better arguments and sources.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 5 years ago
studentathletechristian8
You'll always be a virgin, R_R. ;) I'm just joking. By Pro's stance, then there is that possibility.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 5 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Does this mean I'm not a virgin?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by dogparktom 5 years ago
dogparktom
TyunglebodogparktomTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
TyunglebodogparktomTied
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Vote Placed by Xer 5 years ago
Xer
TyunglebodogparktomTied
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Total points awarded:06