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StephenT [userpic]

(Meta) Just wondering

6th March 2008 (19:07)
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Poll #1149939 Workplace Affairs

A sexual relationship between people in a junior and senior position in a workplace heirarchy is:

Utterly wrong and immoral
1(1.7%)
Pretty skeevy, but not the worst sin imaginable
20(33.3%)
Slightly unwise
32(53.3%)
What's the problem?
5(8.3%)
I think it's romantic.
2(3.3%)

What nationality, cultural or ethnic group do you primarily identify with?

What gender do you identify as?

Female
40(66.7%)
Male
19(31.7%)
Other
1(1.7%)
Prefer not to answer
0(0.0%)

How old are you?

Under 18
2(3.3%)
19-25
20(33.3%)
26-35
10(16.7%)
36-50
20(33.3%)
51+
5(8.3%)
Prefer not to answer
3(5.0%)
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The demographic type questions are because I'm wondering if this is something where culture makes a difference. Feel free not to answer them, or tell me any other things you feel may be relevant to your opinion.

Assume that the two people involved are both adults, free to form a relationship, and no coercion has been used beyond any inherent in their manager-subordinate heirarchical status.

ETA: The definition of 'adult' I'm using here is "legally old enough to have a sexual relationship with the other person".

Some people have questioned my use of 'slightly' with 'unwise'. Since I can't edit the poll, please use the following distinctions:
"Pretty skeevy" - your opinion of the person's character would be lessened; what they are doing is blameworthy.
"Slightly unwise" - you might criticise their judgement but you wouldn't think less of them on a moral level. In other words, "unwise" as well as "slightly unwise" comes here. However, if your judgement is more "not immoral, but an utterly stupid and unforgivable thing to do" then please use the higher category!

The question on nationality/culture/ethnicity etc - originally I just wrote 'nationality' but it struck me that some people might, let's say, hold citizenship from one country but actually live in and identify with a second instead. Or feel strongly that their culture or ethnicity took precedence over their legal nationality.

ETA2 - Some observations on the results:

Since most people picked the second or third choices, I'll concentrate on these and roll the other choices into them. I'll use 'negative' to depict people who went for 'utterly wrong' or 'slightly skeevy', and 'dubious' for those who picked 'slightly unwise' or the two neutral or positive choices.

Contrary to my original theory, nationality or culture seems to make almost no difference. 29% of Americans took a negative view of such relationships, compared to 31% of Europeans. (Australians were evenly split, but I'm afraid there weren't enough of you to be statistically significant. Sorry.)

On the other hand, age did have a big effect. Almost nobody in the youngest agegroup (19-25) was negative: just 9%. On the other hand, fully 80% of the 51+ agegroup had a negative opinion. However, it wasn't an even progression: the 26-35 agegroup was almost as hostile to such relationships as the 51+ group (67% negative), while those in the 36-50 group were much more in favour of them (28% negative). I wonder if this reflects the younger group identifying with the junior partner in such a relationship, and the older group having more sympathy for the senior?

Gender also had a significant effect. Men were far more hostile to the concept than women, with 56% of males being negative compared to 34% of females.

Comments

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 6th March 2008 19:30 (UTC)

As regards Buffy/Satsu, just a quick thought: even if we can be reasonably sure Buffy wouldn't kick Satsu out for being in love with her (or for not going to bed with her), it's obvious that Satsu up until recently thought she would; there's no coersion as such, that doesn't mean it's not an imbalance of power. I don't quite think any of your alternatives fit it, really; "unwise" would probably come closest, though given the situation, I'm not sure about the "slightly."

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th March 2008 00:14 (UTC)

The wording 'slightly unwise' was trying to convey the concept that you don't think there's anything in particular morally wrong with the situation, but it could well cause problems for the parties involved (or affect how other people regard them, etc).

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