From the essay: 'Increasing concern about therapist-patient sex has led to a consideration of boundaries in all trust-based relationships, which always include elements of power and dependency. Such relationships include those between teacher and student, especially those involving research or clinical supervision.
Teacher - student relationships differ from those between therapist and patient because of the collegiality considered important for the student's development. Yet, both share the objective of fostering independence. Therefore, teachers need to find a balance of nurture and separateness in their relationships with their students.
.. Sometimes, however, the very closeness of the relationship challenges that necessary distance. Feelings of admiration and respect may become intense and personal. When those feelings do occur, what do we do with them? Can we experience them comfortably and still maintain appropriate student-teacher boundaries? What are 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? How should one handle social or sexual overtures made by a student?
This paper will explore these questions in light of recent concerns expressed about boundaries between professionals and clients, sexual harassment in the academic setting, and recent data suggesting a high frequency of sexual interaction between graduate students and teachers.'
By S. Michael Plaut, Ph.D
Debra LaFave, was a reading teacher in Florida, who gained public infamy when she was charged with statutory rape, after having sexual relations with a minor in 2004 (she was 23, he was 14).
LaFave became infamous, particularly on the Internet as she was buxom, blonde and attractive. The comments on an interview with Debra Lafave on YouTube suggest a common opinion is that the young man is crazy.
Investigating officers pursued the case after being notified by the 14-year-old boy's mother. Officers tape recorded conversations between LaFave and the boy, then arrested her at their next rendezvous.
On November 22, 2005, LaFave plead guilty and was sentenced to three years of house arrest and seven years of probation.
Based upon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debra_Lafave
The following ideas about Debra LaFave are from a blog, The Happy Feminist:
'Stereotypes about how a young boy should react to sex with an adult woman are the direct result of old-fashioned patriarchal views regarding gender relations. At one time , all 50 states had laws against seduction but only women could be victims of seduction. The crime of seduction was the act of using artful persuasion to influence a woman of previously chaste character to depart from virtue. The assumptions underlying these laws were that (1) women did not have sufficient decision making and moral capacity to consent to sex, (2) men, rather than women, always initiate sex, and (3) women, but not men, are damaged by premarital sex. We encounter some of those same anti-feminist attitudes today when people assume, based on gender, that a female offender is less at fault or that any young boy worth his salt should be happy to have had the opportunity for sex with an adult woman, particularly if she is considered attractive. Thus, we see how patriarchal attitudes can hurt men as well as women.
The fact that Lafave is being held responsible to any extent is due to the rise of feminist mores in our culture. Under our criminal laws, she is considered to be just as morally responsible for her actions as a man, and the statutory rape of a boy by a woman is considered just as reprehensible as any other form of statutory rape. I should note that, although Lafave received a more lenient deal than prosecutors wanted, her sentence isn't exactly a cake walk. Her freedom on house arrest will be very limited. She will have a number of requirements to fulfill on probation and if she screws them up, she could be sent to prison for the maximum sentence allowed for the crime she to which she plead guilty. She can never teach again and she is notorious throughout the country as a sex offender.'
Page Title: 'Teacher / Teen Student Sexual Relationships: Evolution,
Culture, History, Sex Laws, Abuse, Harassment, Statistics, Debra Lafave,
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