HOW THE PUBLIC VIEWS SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TEACHERS AND THEIR STUDENTS
This thesis provides a comprehensive review of literature on the public’s perception of sexual relationships between teachers and their students. It was hypothesized that there would be a difference in opinion of the appropriateness of sexual relationships between teachers and students when considered by different age groups. Secondly, it was hypothesized that religious beliefs are influences that contribute to how an individual perceives the relationship. Thirdly, it was hypothesized that perceptions of the relationships will change if the initiator of the relationship changed. Lastly, it was hypothesized that media coverage has an impact on how the public views sexual relationships between teachers and their students. A factorial analysis of variance was conducted to determine if certain groups vary in their opinions and if those opinions change across ages varied for teacher and student. Among the participants that were given a child in middle school and high school, the perception of those students having relationships with their teachers was negative. Among the participants that were given college and graduate school students the participants varied slightly in favor of saying that such a relationship was acceptable. Most participants mentioned that they have not been affected by media coverage to which they were exposed. They have, however, found media coverage informative and educational relative to the severity of the situation.
Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology