Professors Who Sleep with Their Students and Vice Versa

From an article entitled “Sex and the University”:

For Jane Gallop, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the US, tough policies on relationships are affecting tutors’ ability to teach.

In her book Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment, she says: “At its most intense – and, I would argue, its most productive – the pedagogical relation between teacher and student is, in fact, a ‘consensual amorous relation.’”

Gallop is candid about her relationships with both male and female students, and her exploits as a graduate student herself, when she slept with two men on her dissertation committee. She is more than aware of the power relationship that existed between them.

When it comes to professors who sleep with their students, “pathetic” is usually my first thought. But when it comes to students who sleep with their professors, especially professors on their dissertation committees, the phrase “conflict of interest” comes to mind, among other things.

On a related note, part of me admires Gallop’s honesty here, and I’d love to attend one of the sexual harassment workshops I’m required to go to every year with her, if only to watch her lock horns with the person who runs it.

Related Reading: “The Higher Yearning: Bringing Eros Back to Academe”


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