Dating students after graduation

That apprenticeship process may include travel, social activities, and glimpses into each other’s personal lives.

And yet, despite this closeness and sharing, the teacher does remain a teacher and the student a student.

Schneider16 studied 356 graduate women from a number of disciplines, and found that 9 percent reported coercive dating and sex with members of the faculty.

Of the 13 percent who engaged in consensual dating with members of faculty, 30 percent experienced “pressure to be sexual.” Comments given by respondents in both of these studies reflected a full range of opinion among both former students and faculty members.

Can we experience them comfortably and still maintain appropriate student-teacher boundaries? Is there a necessary limit to the personal, social, or even sexual interaction that may be experienced between student and teacher without compromising one’s professional responsibilities?

Does it make a difference if the professional aspects of the relationship take place in the classroom, a laboratory, a clinical setting, or if they are of an administrative nature?

Teacher-student relationships differ from those between therapist and patient because of the collegiality considered important for the student’s development.

Such relationships include those between teacher and student, especially those involving research or clinical supervision.

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I would like to thank Kathleen Donofrio, Peter Fagan, Stuart Keill, Stephen Max, Catherine Nugent, Judith Plaut and Bernice Sigman for their critical review of the manuscript.

It has been shown that “graduate student relations with members of the faculty is regarded by most graduate students as the most important aspect of the quality of their graduate experience.”1 The mentor may experience, through the student, the closest one may feel to a professional immortality — a feeling that the baton is being passed to someone worthy and that one’s work will live on, not only on the yellowing pages of a journal somewhere in the stacks of a library, but in the mind and work of someone younger, more energetic, and equally committed to the task to which one’s professional life has been so fully devoted.

A unique aspect of the mentoring relationship among professional relationships is that the student is, at the same time, both student and colleague.

Studies have come from two rather separate bodies of literature.

Some research has emerged from a growing concern about sexual exploitation of clients by professionals, primarily in the mental health professions,2,11,12 but also in such fields as medicine, law, and religion.3,6,7,15 More recently, extensions of the literature on sexual harassment in the academic setting have addressed the issue as well.10,16 Glaser and Thorpe11 received survey responses from 44 percent (464) of the female members of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

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