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Sex is Different from Money: Conceptualizing Sextortion as Corruption
How does the dynamics of the transaction and our understanding of corruption change when the currency is sex?
This seminar will focus on the type of corruption where the transactional currency is some form of sexual services. This form of corruption, where entrusted authority is abused in order to obtain sex in exchange for a service or benefit, is often called sextortion (Eldén et al. 2020). The paper theorizes and conceptualizes sextortion as a form of corruption. It asks the question of how the fact that the currency is sex changes the dynamics of the transaction and our understanding of corruption. It concludes that while sextortion should be recognized as a form of corruption, it also has elements of gender-based violence. Gender norms around the relationship between masculinity, femininity and sexual conduct mean that the perpetrator can often rely on the coerced sexual transactional aspect to imply consent. From the point of view of the victim, shame, stigma and fear make it unlikely that sextortion will be reported.

About Elin Bjarnegård:
Elin Bjarnegård is Associate Professor in Political Science and Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the Department of Government at Uppsala University. Her research focuses on gender, masculinities, corruption, political parties and conflict. She is the author of the book Gender, Informal Institutions and Political Recruitment: Explaining Male Dominance in Parliamentary Representation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and an editor of the book Gender and Violence against Political Actors (Temple University Press, 2023). Bjarnegård has also worked as a consultant on development related issues. Among other things, she has contributed to recent studies published by the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), including evaluations of gender integration at Sida and of the Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy, as well as a study on policy against sexual corruption.
Organizer: Uppsala University
Website: https//uu.se
Submitted by: NIKK
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11.05.2023 13:15-15:00
Uppsala, Sweden