Professor dating former student
Movies have featured them, books have centered on them. But they've also led to power struggles, charges of coercion and abuse of power.
Now, an increasing number of schools are outright banning relationships - even consensual ones - between professors and undergraduates.
She started going to his office hours to ask questions about his research.
But soon after, the conversations got more personal.
“He was an interesting guy with a lot of the same beliefs and values that I had,” she says.
“He was also a bit older and his maturity was really refreshing (since in high school I was in a relationship with a guy who was going nowhere and was so immature).” Avery started wearing V-neck shirts and makeup (which she never wore normally) to attract her TA’s attention.
Laura Kipnis, a professor in Northwestern's School of Communication, criticized her school's policy in a controversial essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, arguing that the ban assumes that professors are predators, and also that these policies infantilize students.
“Unfortunately, there are TAs and professors with poor boundaries and a need to feel powerful, admired, and attractive at the expense of students,” Orlov says.
They are “taking advantage of young women with less power, life experience, and ability to set clear and healthy boundaries.” Julie Kleinhans, a radio show host and life coach for teens and young adults, says that the feeling of being dominant to a student can be a reason why professors and TAs have relationships with students.
It could be that the student just thinks her professor is attractive, or it could be that she is seeking out personal validation.
Some collegiettes take an older, wiser man finding them attractive as a huge compliment.
Similarly, in 2010, UNC-Chapel Hill professor Monty Cook resigned after it was discovered that he had been sexting with a student.