Movies about teachers dating their students
"I didn't treat her any differently."For the record, he notes that his wife is actually two years older than he is - a reminder that not all teacher-student liaisons fall under the stereotype of older male professor and vulnerable young woman.
Professor Dank also worries about what he sees as a chilling effect on even the most innocent of teacher-student friendships.
In the past decade, schools such as Yale, Duke, Ohio Wesleyan, and the College of William & Mary have enacted similar bans, some stricter, some more lenient.
The majority of universities may have no official policy at all, but more are moving from vague statements "discouraging" faculty-student relationships to specific bans."I always say the real story is, what took us so long?
Either way, it highlights some questions about the ethics of relationships, especially when they involve a difference in authority, and who has a right to govern those relationships."It's one of the complicated ethical things teachers have to deal with all the time," she says."These bans suggest sexual relations are unlike every other kind of relation."But her main issue with the bans, Gallop says, is the way in which they confuse sexual harassment with consensual relationships."You can't start banning relations for people with more or less power, because it takes even more power from that person," she says.Barry Dank, a sociology professor at California State University at Long Beach, wouldn't have been allowed to date his wife under such a policy. They started dating after the class ended, but she later enrolled in another of his courses."She asked if it would be a problem for me, and I said 'no,' " he recalls.
But just as more workplaces are banning relationships between superiors and their employees, we need to guard against unequal liaisons that could lead to favoritism or retribution in the classroom, in recommendations, in career paths.