The deceptive use of sex may magnify the basic issue of the violation of trust found within the broader topic of "false friend deception."It might help our understanding of the larger topic if we focus on the narrower one.Here I ask (1) What is at stake and what is different when undercover operations have a sexual component?The arrest and trial of the former Mayor of Washington DC, Marion Barry, after he had purchased drugs from an ex-girl friend raises a variety of ethical and policy issues involving police deception.One of the most interesting involves friendship and undercover investigations.
State-sponsored deception, of course, raises all the ethical issues generally associated with deception.
It also raises some issues that are unique to the state as the symbolic repository of societal values (for example, the need to avoid setting bad examples).
But when friendship and sex are present, as in the Barry case, the situation becomes more complex.
Manipulation, temptation and deception (whether involving motives and/or identity are joined in a potentially explosives mix.
In this article I will focus on the limited topic of sex and undercover investigations.
Both romance and undercover activities can involve heightened efforts to create impressions, the keeping of secrets and intense bonding.