Remote Female Fixation—A Grounded Theory on Semi-Illegal Sharing of Nude Imagery Online
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonForum Qualitative Sozialforschung. 2021, 22(2) 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3556
In this article, we present the classic grounded theory of remote female fixation, which provides new knowledge on the illegal sharing of sexualized images of young girls in networked communities on the internet. This sharing occurs without consent and usually without the girls even knowing about it. In our study, we identified the main concern and action strategies of the anonymous users of a large online forum for the sharing of nude images. The data were gathered from 20 different online comment sections of the Norwegian branch of a global, anonymous community with a reputation for extensive sharing of nude images of young women. By carefully analyzing the data, we found that the forum's users had an ongoing need to master their own female fixations, which they satisfied through the process of remote female fixation. In this process, forum users engaged in the following four interdependent strategies: continuous competition, loyalty-based inclusion, irregular rewarding, and tactical negotiation. By identifying the forum users' shared concern, this theory may help explain the increasing presence of sexual abuse in digital environments.