Is it cheating? Infidelity online

Is it cheating? Infidelity online

Chair: Sanjeev P. Sahni



While legal structures struggle to keep pace with technology, the world is witnessing a relatively new and escalating twist to the age-old problem of adultery, namely, online infidelity. Defining infidelity has become relatively harder with the advent of technology. There is no universally accepted definition, internet infidelity constitutes intimate chat sessions, sexually stimulating conversations, cybersex, exchanging sexual self-images, online dating, online flirting, and using online pornography. With the Internet, we’re moving away from just physical ideas about infidelity and coming to consider emotional infidelity and psychological abuse. We need to examine the implications of online sexual gratification and examine the current conceptions of adultery and question whether our thinking should be expanded to include online infidelity. 

Thus, the session will broadly discuss the following issues: 

1. The challenges in defining Internet Infidelity 

2. How the issue of Internet Infidelity is viewed differently by legislatures, researchers and scholars, marital therapists, counselors and those who indulge in online infidelity. 

3. Examine current institutions regarding adultery and question whether and how these institutions relate to online infidelity 

4. Exploring the potential implication of cyberspace addiction and infidelity on intimate partner violence (physical and psychological abuse), divorce, marital discord, mental health related issues and neglect of best parenting practices. 

5. The need to address the issue at early stages and promoting awareness relationship workshops, strategies on rebuilding trust after cyber affair, ways to improve marital communication, sensitization programs and promoting sex education courses and workshops in schools and colleges. 

6. The critical role of counselors, psychologists, lawyers, marital therapists in treating Internet infidelity and examining the therapeutic and legal dilemmas by psychologists, therapists and lawyers due to ACE (Anonymous, Convenience and Escape) characteristic of internet. 

7. Future implications of online infidelity on relationships, marriages and mental health of the people involved.