Rules against professors dating students
Nor did they act from the promise or anticipation of academic favours, or fear of reprisal if they declined my casual invitations.
If they were impressed by me in my position, which very likely they were, I did in fact possess the attributes in question. Evidently I was breaking a tacit undertaking to Sir John Fulton [a university administrator] and to others of his mind.
Last year, philosopher Neil Mc Arthur (Manitoba) published an article, “piece).
Mc Arthur acknowledges that “romances between faculty and students are minefields, both emotionally and ethically, and they should be approached with the utmost care and trepidation.” However, “such matters are far too complex for the blunt tool provided by outright prohibitions, and that such prohibitions cannot be justified” (p.138).
On whether such relationships are likely to be nonconsensual, Mc Arthur looks at some empirical work: In Glaser and Thorpe’s (1986, 49) survey of 464 former graduate students, all female, about their sexual involvement with professors, nearly all reported that they ‘felt no coercion or exploitation whatsoever.’ Bellas and Gossett (540) similarly found that, among those in their smaller survey, ‘none of the students felt coerced to initiate or to sustain their relationships …
students believed that they entered into them freely—their relationships were, at least in their own minds, consensual.’ We must consider, too, that it is by no means always the professor who initiates romantic contact.
Even if we suppose that there are some that are consensual and otherwise unproblematic—“successful”—we need to look at the ongoing context in which such relationships might come about.
(1) Blanket Relationship Bans One consideration relevant to relationship bans arises in another passage of Honderich’s book that was part of the Twitter discussion: Feminism had begun, with books and marches, but it did not include the charge of harassment by teachers.
Harassment there certainly was, once by me in at least one mind.
An ongoing context that produces some successful relationships probably involves a greater number of relationship .
Some of these attempts fail, and it is likely that some of these attempts will involve sexual harassment.
(Though I would recommend reading this excellent review by Catherine Wilson.) The circulation of these passages, rather, presents an opportunity to discuss some of the disputes over romantic or sexual relations between professors and students.