Title

Ethics and Power Dynamics of Age Difference in Romantic and Sexual Relationships

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

16-5-2019

End Date

16-5-2019

Abstract

This project will examine the ethical implications of power imbalances created by age difference in romantic and sexual relationships between consenting adults. Power discrepancies in relationships, and particularly those created by difference in age, are ubiquitous and not inherently morally problematic. However, unequal power dynamics resulting from a difference in age in relationships present the risk of serious potential harm and ethical transgression. Within this project, I will deconstruct the modern-day zeitgeist surrounding age difference in romantic and sexual relationships though an ethical lens and dispel rationally unsound judgements based on cultural norms. Next, I turn my attention to power dynamics and seek to differentiate harmful and ethically problematic power relations from benign discrepancies in power, examine the unique power dynamics created by age differential relationships and the moral implications of these imbalances, and explore if power discrepancies can be mitigated - and if we even desire them to be. Finally, I will seek a solution to how age and power differential relationships can be carried out unproblematically, and put forth necessary and sufficient conditions for ethically sound romantic and sexual relationships between partners of varying age and power.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Goeger

Department/Program

Philosophy and Religious Studies

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May 16th, 1:00 PM May 16th, 2:30 PM

Ethics and Power Dynamics of Age Difference in Romantic and Sexual Relationships

Ellensburg

This project will examine the ethical implications of power imbalances created by age difference in romantic and sexual relationships between consenting adults. Power discrepancies in relationships, and particularly those created by difference in age, are ubiquitous and not inherently morally problematic. However, unequal power dynamics resulting from a difference in age in relationships present the risk of serious potential harm and ethical transgression. Within this project, I will deconstruct the modern-day zeitgeist surrounding age difference in romantic and sexual relationships though an ethical lens and dispel rationally unsound judgements based on cultural norms. Next, I turn my attention to power dynamics and seek to differentiate harmful and ethically problematic power relations from benign discrepancies in power, examine the unique power dynamics created by age differential relationships and the moral implications of these imbalances, and explore if power discrepancies can be mitigated - and if we even desire them to be. Finally, I will seek a solution to how age and power differential relationships can be carried out unproblematically, and put forth necessary and sufficient conditions for ethically sound romantic and sexual relationships between partners of varying age and power.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/189