Ethics Quiz: Petter’s Sex For Facebook Likes Deal

Sex for Likes

First Stan Musial dies, and now this.

 Petter Kverneng is an awkward  Norwegian teen. He wants to have sex with Cathrine, the love of his young life, and she 1) doesn’t or 2) wants to make him earn the privilege by showing how much he wants her or 3) wants to humiliate him first and then if she has to have sex, well, whatever. The story goes that she told him she would have sex with him if he could score 1,000,000  “likes” on Facebook. A large internet message board decided to either help out Petter or stick it to Cathrine, and now the pimply-faced youth has  1.2 million “likes” on his Facebook page.

Get ready, Cat.

Let us take an ethics inventory, shall we? What is interesting about this stupid story, if indeed it is true, is that many of its turns could be seen as both ethical and unethical.

  • First of all: Ick. Just…ick.
  • Unethical: Cathrine. If she thinks the kid is a geek, she should tell him. If she wants to have sex with him she should do it (I don’t want to know how old these children are. I hear the age of consent in Norway is about 6.) This is at best manipulative and disrespectful, at worst cruel and deceptive.
  • Ethical: Cathrine, if she is trying to give Petter hope while assisting him in his lifelong dream to be an internet celebrity at the cost of her own dignity. (I know: it’s a stretch.)
  • Unethical: Petter. He is–perhaps—attempting to make a young woman have sex against her will, by publicizing their deal.
  • Ethical: Petter, if is simply taking a contractual agreement in good faith, and attempting to meet its terms the only way possible.
  • Unethical: Petter, if he should have known that the young woman simply meant, “No, way. I’d want to have sex with you the day a geek with your pizza face could get a million likes on Facebook,” but was trying to let him down easy.
  • Ethical: Petter, if he knew that she wanted to have sex with him but produced the deal to give her cover with her Mean Girl friends, who were sure to give her endless flack about having so uncool a boyfriend.
  • Unethical: The message board and its members, which are trying to help force a young woman to have sex with a boy who gives her the heebies.
  • Ethical: The message board and its members, if they are trying to be kind to a young, fellow geek, by making his dream come true.

But your Ethics Quiz has nothing to do with any of these, but rather a prospective and hypothetical event. Your question:

If Catherine reneges on her deal now, is she unethical?

_____________________________

Pointer: Instapundit

Source and Graphic: The Frisky

17 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: Petter’s Sex For Facebook Likes Deal

  1. In the context that she is agreeing to have sex for 1million “likes,” this could be viewed as a transaction for sexual favors aka, soliciting for prostitution (money or like points, what’s the difference?). While this whole thing is fairly creepy and in an ethics netherworld, I would say it was more ethical for her to renege than follow through with this unsavory agreement.

  2. I don’t see one little thing in this that’s ethical. Even if these were grown adults, it would be idiotic, self-demeaning and immoral. It’s all of those things when teenaged kids do it… and more besides. Don’t Norwegian kids have parents? Age of consent aside, what loving couple would tell their precious daughter that it’s okay not only to sell herself to some young punk, but to publicize it all over the world? BTW: Do they even HAVE families in Europe anymore, or is it all a state run collective?

        • I’ve heard European politics/values described very simply. It explains how they can be so ‘open minded’ (when they really aren’t) and so unable to handle major issues head-on, the usual solution being to just let the powers that be handle everything. Their politics are simply described as “apathetic”. They don’t care about social values, they don’t care about fiscal concerns, you name it, they don’t care.

          Much of this is a direct off shoot of the literal 100 year bloodletting (with a few punctuations of peace, the most notably, and nearly Utopian of which came prior to World War I), culminating in the biggest blood-letting of all time. This century long kill-fest, a painful conclusion of the millenia long development of that political system, left Europeans quite simply numbed to anything that called for passion.

          Europeans are truly baffled that Americans still get passionate about things like being pro-abortion or anti-abortion, pro-gay marriage/anti-gay marriage/pro-govt get out of all marriage, pro-gun rights/anti-gun rights, pro-anything/anti-anything. They are so numbed, they’ve chosen the non-passionate route for everything. The easy road.

          When you aren’t passionate, you aren’t creative or lovable (almost 2 essentials for creating healthy families). There is no physiological reason for Europe to have a drive to repopulate itself. It just doesn’t care.

          There are exceptions of course. Germany seems to still kinda care.

  3. How ethical it is depends a lot on whether or not she really wants to have sex with him. In the photo would she be smiling if she didn’t so I presume she does. But I agree it is still ick!
    By the way the age of consent in Norway is 16 not 6.

  4. Assuming she doesn’t want to follow through then there is no way out of this without being unfair to somebody. Even if somehow Petter wasn’t a creep, the least objectionable way out is probably to disappoint him. Of course the ethical course of action for him is let her out of the deal. The unethical act on her part though has already been done and that was making a promise she never intended to follow through on. So if she says no then she’s unethical but for making the deal in the first place not necessarily for actually saying no.

  5. If thou wouldst win my hand, sirrah, thou must first fulfill this quest: to cut down the tallest tree in the forest with a herring.

    It’s traditional.

    I’m prim,prudish,very square indeed. No sex before betrothal, and this is something that would lead to more than just a “one night stand” .

    However, times have changed, Marriage is now a bit of a joke for many, with “long term” relationships that can’t be expected to last 10 years. I know more couples who have been living together without marrying for 15 years than I know of marriages that have lasted that long.

    These days, my views are fringe. I think they always were in reality, but everyone (everyone else anyway) was hypocritical, paying lip-service only to the concept, not the actuality. Even I say “betrothal” not “marriage”, the difference is that I believe it and practice it.

    That’s me. This is Denmark, another society, a different generation, and even in my own, unwed people are looked on as weird if they don’t have sex these days.

    Summary – not enough data. I’m a romantic at heart, so I’d like to think a gal keen on a guy would have set him a task that’s difficult, but doable, to test his mettle. “Faint heart never won fair maid” and all that.

    I’m also, alas, too worldly-wise to think this is likely.

  6. So, this is the 3rd photo like this I’ve seen. The first one was 2 little girls and their sign said “Mom and Dad said we can have a new puppy if we get 1M Likes”.

    The 2nd was a man whose wife would let him have a bunny but his sign noted that they already had something like 3 kids, 1 dog, and a turtle…or wolverine…or something odd.

    So, when I saw this one, I thought this would be a parody of the other signs. I think it’s just a self feeding parody scheme (or a meme) at this point. I’m sure the first one was real, but which one was first is anyone’s guess.

  7. Interesting, that not many women have commented here so far.

    I am willing to believe the far-fetched possibility that (1) Cathrine does not even know (or, at the time, did not know) what was on the sign, and (2) Petter set up the photo op, all by himself or with maybe one more helper, at Cathrine’s expense. But then, that might be too imaginative, and perhaps it reflects my own projection of how I might scam a girl if I was in Petter’s place and so unethically inclined, plus perhaps more of my projection of more uniquely American attitudes and mal-exploited cunning into the situation than are becoming of these Norwegian youths.

    “If Cathrine reneges on her deal now, is she unethical?”
    NO. Sex always, in every instance, is appropriate only with mutual consent and for a most profound act of union of two persons – a social contract ever beyond an act so trivial that justifies the kind of overt extra-social contractualization we see in this case. Cathrine retains the right to refuse to have sex with Petter, no matter what, at any time, for any reason.

    This is one place where some of the teachings from the Bible that continue today, even in churches I have faithfully attended, collide head-on with what I can only call my personal “feminism” – teachings about spouses never denying their partners access to sexual union (with rare, justifiable exceptions noted), for example. Sorry, guys (and writers of biblical epistles): I have thought it all through, all by myself, and may God strike me dead if I am so intolerably “deviant” about this, but I just am not interested in having sex with another person just because she wants to have sex with me, and I would be ashamed of myself for expecting someone who doesn’t want to have sex with me to have it with me anyway, merely because I happen to want it. It doesn’t matter if you’re married to each other, or not. Each instance must be an act of sincere, unambiguous mutual consent, for the sake of respecting each person as they deserve. “Ick” just about says it all, for Petter to even appear to suggest that he is willing to make a deal for sex in the manner depicted. At this point, I’m willing to leave Cathrine completely out of suspicion of culpability.

  8. I think Catherine can renege on the idea and be ethical. It is never ethical to pressure someone for sex and I see this latest fad as the ultimate peer pressure device. When I was in school, many boys pressured girls into sex by having their friends (and her friends) complain, encourage, harass, or just play nag her until she did it. Now, you can get 1 million people on the internet to do the same thing! I don’t know what kind of pressure was applied to get her to do this. Was she in on it, or was she surrounded by a group of friends saying “oh, come on, what if he gets 1 million ‘likes’?”.

    This is an annoying latest fad going on. Once somebody got publicity for “X said I can do Y if I get 1 million likes”, everyone wanted to get in on it. One reason people do it is for the attention. The more sinister side I see is its use as a persuasive device.

    If this is just for attention, this one was done because they needed something racier than “Dad said he would buy me a car if I get 1 million likes” (which has been done to death at this point). This motivation makes the whole ethical premise sort of silly, because they are probably already having sex and they are just doing this for the attention-whore value.

    If this is just another means of applying peer pressure on people to ‘persuade’ them to do what you want, it is an issue. If it starts out with her not wanting to have sex yet and he says “What if I get 1 million likes on Facebook” and she thinks that saying ‘no’ to that would be cruel (like saying I would never in a million years…), then this is a problem. Once the million likes come in “How can you not have sex with me. You will be betraying those 1 million people who clicked ‘like'”?

    I think all of these are unethical, actually. I think attention-whoring as an activity should be unethical because of how it further reinforces the idea to people that pointless celebrity is immensely important. I also think that accepting the idea that forcing people to go on Facebook or other social media and humiliate themselves or beg for approval is a valid decision making process is very very wrong. “You want us to go visit your parents? Stick your head in the toilet and get 1 million likes, mister”.

    In this world, teenage car ownership is no longer the result of hard work, saving, and the pride of ownership. It is now the result of getting people’s attention. Boys who can convince people to ‘like’ them are owed sex by any girl they know because, hey, 1 million ‘likes’. This is not behavior that should be encouraged.

  9. This is very ick, but going beyond the ick factor and sticking to question asked “If Catherine reneges on her deal now, is she unethical?” Yes, she would be unethical. The only caveat to my answer is that she actually made the deal, no Photoshop or other deception was involved. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about sex or if it was to mow his lawn for a month. If she agreed to the terms and he in good faith met those terms, she would be unethical not to follow through. With that said I am not saying she has too, that he has a right to tie her down and take it or try to coerce it from her, just that by breaking the agreement, without any “cause” she would be acting unethical.

    “I would say it was more ethical for her to renege than follow through with this unsavory agreement.”
    The agreement is unsavory but barring any coercion or deception, she made it and it is inherently unethical to break your word without cause.

    “How ethical it is depends a lot on whether or not she really wants to have sex with him.”
    It doesn’t matter whether or not she really wants to have sex with him, she made a deal with him and to break it would be unethical.

    “NO. Sex always, in every instance, is appropriate only with mutual consent”
    She already consented, with terms attached but consent has already been given. That is not to say she can’t change her mind, she has every right to do so but that doesn’t make it ethical to do so.

    “I think Catherine can renege on the idea and be ethical. It is never ethical to pressure someone for sex and I see this latest fad as the ultimate peer pressure device.”
    If she was coerced into making this deal then yes she can renege on the deal and not be unethical.

    • Hmmm.

      OK, then what if she begins the engagement and then he is clumsy, smells bad, is grossly deformed or says something that’s a turn-off. Is she still ethically obligated? Does no mean no, even after I promise means I promise? Is it unethical to back out if the experience is worse than she thought? Are you ever ethically obligated to have sex with someone when you don’t want to?

      Obviously the caring, ethical thing on his part would be to release her from her deal, and say that she is only obligated to do what she feels like doing.

      • Jack,
        I will give reverence to the act sex when it is treated as something special but when it is treated as a commodity I refuse to do so. That is where I am at with this one.
        “OK, then what if she begins the engagement and then he is clumsy, smells bad, is grossly deformed or says something that’s a turn-off. Is she still ethically obligated?” Yes she is, but that does not mean she loses her right to say no.
        “Does no mean no, even after I promise means I promise? Is it unethical to back out if the experience is worse than she thought? Are you ever ethically obligated to have sex with someone when you don’t want to?” If you have agreed to do so in trade then yes, hookers do it all the time. She agreed to the arrangement so yes she has some obligation to follow through on her word.
        “Obviously the caring, ethical thing on his part would be to release her from her deal, and say that she is only obligated to do what she feels like doing.”
        Absolutely, I don’t disagree at all with your last statement. I was answering only your question.

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