Dear Dr. George:
I am a college student at USC. My boyfriend of two-years is in a fraternity, and I like many of his brothers. However, my boyfriend told me recently about an event that the brothers hold secretly. It's called "showtiming", and what they do is secretly videotape sexual encounters with unsuspecting girls, and they watch the films together. All of this unbeknownst to the women. It absolutely disgusts me, and I think I should break up with my boyfriend for participating in these "viewing" sessions. What should I do?
--- Stuck In The Dark, Los Angeles
Dear Stuck In The Dark:
It's not clear from your letter if your boyfriend is actually participating in the videotaping. If he is directing these videotaped sexual encounters, I would end the relationship with him. He's not only violating these unsuspecting women's rights, he's breaking the law and can be charged with a misdemeanor (according to California Penal Code 647):
Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another, identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other
person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation
of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person.
This is not just a problem in Tinseltown. Other states also have laws to protect the privacy of young women in similar situations.
- Alaska - Indecent Viewing or Photography, AK Statutes 11.61.123
- Arkansas - Crime of Video Voyeurism, AR Code Ann. 5-16-101
- Connecticut - Voyeurism, Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-189a
- Delaware - Violation of Privacy, 11 Del. C. 1335
- Florida - Voyeurism prohibited; penalties, Fla. Stat. 810.14
- Hawaii - Sexual assault in the fourth degree, HRS 707-733
- Idaho - Video Voyeurism, Idaho Code 18-6609
- Illinois - Unauthorized Videotaping, 720 ILCS 5/26-4
- Indiana - . Voyeurism, Burns Ind. Code Ann. 35-45-4-5
- Kansas - Eavesdropping, K.S.A. 21-4001
- Kentucky - Voyeurism, KRS 531.090
- Louisiana - Video voyeurism; penalties, La. R.S. 14:283
- Maine - Violation of Privacy, 17-A M.R.S. 511
- Minnesota - Interference with Privacy, Minn. Stat. 609.746
- New Jersey - Video Voyeurism, P.L.2003, CHAPTER 206
- New York - Unlawful Surveillance, NY Penal Code 250.40 through 250.65
- North Carolina - Secret Peeping, N.C.G.S. 14-202
- Ohio - Voyeurism, ORC 2907.08
- Oklahoma - Peeping Tom, 21 Okl. St. 1171
- South Carolina - Eavesdropping, peeping, voyeurism, S.C. Code Ann. 16-17-470
- Tennessee - Unlawful Photographing in Violation of Privacy, Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-605
- Texas - Improper Photography or Visual Recording, Tex. Penal Code 21.15
- Utah- Voyeurism Offense - Utah Code Ann. 76-9-702.7 (2003)
- Virginia - Peeping of Spying into a Dwelling or Enclosure, VA Code Ann. 18.2-130
- Washington - Voyeurism, Rev. Code Wash. 9A.44.115
- West Virginia - Criminal Invasion of Privacy, W. Va. Code 61-8-28
- Wisconsin - Invasion of Privacy, Wis. Stat. 942.08
If your boyfriend is just participating in the viewing of these videos, he's guilty of another infraction: disrespecting women. Living in a fraternity is a constant test of one's moral compass. Talk with him about this issue and see what direction he turns. If he replies that "everyone is watching the videos and it's no big deal," then reconsider this relationship. If he is willing to hear you out and genuinely sees the error in his ways, then reconciliation is possible.
Based on my experience as former president of my fraternity, I can testify that fraternities can be a wonderful place to form life-long friendships and develop leadership skills.
At times, however, they can also be noticeably absent of discerning judgment and basic common-sense. Due to this, I would strongly recommend that a woman not spend the night in a fraternity house. Abundant alcohol, raging hormones, lack of supervision, crowded living spaces and access to inexpensive high technology can create a cocktail of unfortunate and often illegal activities.
P.S. I encourage readers to offer their own thoughts on fraternities. Scroll to bottom of the page to give Stuck In the Dark your comments.
It's tough out there in the real world. So many questions without good answers. My goal is to provide insight into life's more difficult dilemmas, offering sound clinical judgment mixed with a straight-from-the-hip attitude. Email me for free advice on any subject.
For those of you in the New York City area, I'm available for individual or couples counseling at my private practice. Call 646.807.8900, or click on link below for a free consultation. The Sachs Center (NYC): Specializing in ADD, ADHD, Anxiety and Depression in Children, Teens & Adults.
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