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Whether students or their teachers should ever act on such desires, however, has never been an untroubled question.To do so raises the possibility of both favoritism and exploitation.My freshman American literature course presented me with many revelations, but one of the most indelible happened not inside the auditorium classroom where, twice a week, our professor stood onstage in front of more than a hundred 18-year-olds.
In February, for example, Harvard announced that it was banning all consensual “romantic or sexual” relationships between faculty members and undergraduates, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in any of the professor’s classes or is even in the same department (although faculty can still date graduate students if they don’t supervise their work).
These and other revisions of university codes followed the announcement last year that the Department of Education would be investigating 55 colleges and universities for “possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints” under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
As a result, Kipnis herself became the subject of a disturbingly opaque investigation, although she was soon cleared.
Then she wrote about Exactly what happened between the philosophy professor and his two students is not all that material to Kipnis’s argument: She is more concerned that the new university strictures permit only one view of student-faculty relationships, when in fact, like most human connections, they sprawl across a bewildering spectrum.
Students sometimes nurse crushes on their teachers, and teachers sometimes lust after their pupils; these are facts of life so commonplace as to have become the ultimate cliché: a porn motif.
Like many vaguely parental relationships, the pedagogic one can have a strong and unsettling erotic undertow.I was naïve enough to be a bit shocked that girls my age would talk that way about such an exalted figure.And I felt a little sheepish, too, since I’d secretly been thinking the same thing myself.Surely desire and love have flared between teachers and their adult students since pedagogy began, but most of it has been invisible.Until recently, Western education at almost every level was a same-sex activity, open mostly to men of the upper classes, so it stands to reason, that most student-teacher affairs have been between men, even if they’ve left few historical records.My fellow students and I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at our prof if we’d met him at the bus stop or waiting in line at the campus café; he was at least 35—maybe even 40!Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating