Photographs and Contextual Integrity

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From the NYT:

Several gay adult Web sites have posted photographs of teenage water polo players from several high schools in Southern California, a newspaper reported.

Some of the pictures, of boys as young as 14, were displayed next to photos of nude young men and graphic sexual content, an Orange County Register investigation found.

Parents, coaches and school officials were alarmed, and parents said some of the boys were traumatized and sought counseling.

”These kids don’t look at what they do as shameful,” said Joan Gould, an international water polo official and a spokeswoman for a group of Orange County water polo parents. ”For someone to come in and take what these kids are doing and take it out of context and exploit these images, these kids and their schools, because you can see the school name on the caps, is just horrible.” …

There is certainly a lot of underlying homophobia going on here, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but I think it is true that whoever you are and however it happens, having your image sexualized without your consent stinks. Remember Allison Stokke?

–Ann Bartow

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