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Is Female Teacher and male student sex immoral?

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dadmonson
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Is it any different from if the teacher was a male and the student was a female?

The only objective difference that I can think of is that if the teacher is the male, then the student, who is most likely the more irresponsible of the two, is the one who may become pregnant. In contrast, if the student is male and the teacher is female, then the adult is at risk of pregnancy and hopefully has a greater grasp of the possible consequences of the affair. Nevertheless, given the ubiquity of contraceptives and sexual education, the gender of the adult is probably not a major issue.

I will leave the more general issue of the morality on sexual relationships between a high school student and a high school teacher to someone else. Not because I do not have an opinion but simply because I do not want to get heavily involved in what will surely be another 5 - 10 page sex discussion thread. :)

Edited by DarkWaters
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There is nothing immoral about it, as long as both people know what they are getting into.

The age of consent laws are there simply because before a certain age most people do not understand what they are getting into. They lack the necessary context. Feel free to argue about what age that should be, but the rule has a proper purpose.

In that particular case I consider it to be highly immoral irregardless of age for the same reason it would be immoral for a shrink to sleep with their patient or a sergeant to sleep with a private under them in the military. A person of authority necessarily has undue influence over the people under them. A teacher has the capacity to use their "power" in the form of grades etc to push a student into sex. Any proper school would consider it grounds for immediate termination.

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I consider it to be highly contextual.

I consider it to be not contextual in the slightest. The only context is a position of authority and the obvious abuse of that power.

Besides a student raping a teacher, what could possibly make it moral for a teacher to take advantage of child under their care? How about a parent? Is it ok for them to raise a child to become their "willing" sex slave? Is it OK for a psychologist to sleep with a patient in under their care? How about a doctor with a patient in a coma? They didn't say "no" right?

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Besides a student raping a teacher, what could possibly make it moral for a teacher to take advantage of child under their care?

We weren't talking about a "child" in the example. It was a high school student in the example provided by the poster of this thread.

How about a doctor with a patient in a coma? They didn't say "no" right?

Why would you even ask that to me?

A teacher can still grade a student objectively, since it is the tests, homework, papers that are alone graded, irregardless of what the teacher thinks about the student, as such. Favoring, feelings, and things of that nature are to be ruled out period. How is it an issue with "authority" "abuse of power" in the case of high school student and teacher? and what do you mean by "authority" and "abuse of power"?

Edited by intellectualammo
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We weren't talking about a "child" in the example. It was a high school student in the example provided by the poster of this thread.

Why would you even ask that to me?

A teacher can still grade a student objectively, since it is the tests, homework, papers that are alone graded, irregardless of what the teacher thinks about the student, as such. Favoring, feelings, and things of that nature are to be ruled out period. How is it an issue with "authority" "abuse of power" in the case of high school student and teacher? and what do you mean by "authority" and "abuse of power"?

A person below the age of majority(in this case consent) is a child. They are deemed not capable of making decisions for themselves. They can't form contracts, have sex, vote, etc. Again...I am not stating an opinion as to whether opinion you set that age at 18, 16 or 12, but wherever it is, it would be immoral to sleep with them if they are incapable of keeping the necessary context for making a good decision.

I ask about the coma patient because it is an extreme example of an identical circumstance. Sleeping with someone incapable of denying consent with meaning. A person with a mental disorder would be the same. Sound(and I argue mature) mind is necessary for any agreement to have moral validity.

And no...a teacher grading a student they are sleeping with could not be objective, unless their mind were completely disconnected from their body. The teacher could use their position to deny deserved grades to students who refused to comply with their requests.

I'm not sure what you are asking regarding my terminology above. Do you want definitions? A psychologist can decide whether someone needs to be committed, a police officer can decide if someone needs to be arrested, a teacher can decide if someone needs to go to college...or suspension. An abuse of those positions would be accomplished by acquiring personal gain by way of persuasion with the implication, direct or indirect, that compliance with their sexual desires would lead a better outcome for the said victim. That is why it is always disallowed in these circumstances. It is not realistic to expect that people be able to separate out the position of authority from the person performing the job.

If you will, please explain whether a prison guard should have a relationship with an inmate or if a psychologist should sleep with his patients.

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And no...a teacher grading a student they are sleeping with could not be objective, unless their mind were completely disconnected from their body. The teacher could use their position to deny deserved grades to students who refused to comply with their requests.

In order for your second sentence to logically follow from your first sentence it would have to read;

"The teacher would use their position to deny deserved grades to students who refused to comply with their requests."

To say they could use their position leaves open the idea that they could choose not to as well. In which case, a teacher could be objective grading a student with whom he is sleeping. Thus, I agree that your second sentence is true (because the potential is there), but your first sentence is not. Your mind is always connected to your body, but that does not preclude a person's capacity for objectivity. I believe a statement to the contrary would rock the very foundations of the philosophy of Objectivism (not to be overly dramatic).

Having authority over a person does not automatically mean a person would use authority over said person. I can't see any fact that dictates that this has to happen. I could agree that he might, or even in many cases probably would, but I don't agree that they necessarily are compelled to lose their objectivity.

Your position appears to amount to; no person can ever be objective in evaluating another person with whom they have some emotional attachment because the mind is always connected to the body. If that is truly your assertion, I disagree. Naturally, if you could clarify what you mean, and if you can demonstrate that a teacher would necessarily abuse their authority in all cases at all times, that would help.

Similarly, the apparent logic of your position would hold that a husband could not possibly be objective in evaluating some aspect of his wife. Again, I do not agree that is true.

The problem with abuse of authority is that it does not rely on an actual instance of abuse, but rather the state of mind of the 'victim'. The victim in such a case often feels compelled to comply because of the potential of abuse of authority, regardless of whether or not such punitive action would follow should they displease their suspect.

For example, a cop stops an attractive woman and decides to let her go with a warning. After deciding that, he propositions her for sex. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that he still would not issue her a ticket if she says no, but she cannot necessarily know this. She is forced to consider that not complying with the abusers request will result in some negative, unjust action against her. Again, it doesn't matter if that action would follow or not. The abuser may well follow through and punish her, but there is nothing that factual dictates that he will take some punitive action against the victim. Thus, the abuse occurs by virtue of the position over someone while any actual negative action taken only worsens the severity of the abuse.

So if I were to argue the abuse of authority angle, I would do it from those grounds rather than asserting punitive action will necessarily follow and such person necessarily has no capacity for objectivity in such a situation.

Edited by RationalBiker
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Interestingly enough, here is a story in which a husband arrests his wife (who is also a fellow deputy) for DUI. I guess the question is, did he arrest her because she told him no once too often, OR did he arrest her because he has the capacity to be objective with someone he is sleeping with? :)

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I think well, that one should never say what another should or shouldn't do, but if it were me, I probably would say no, because while I am in that class, I need to focus on teaching the assignments, and having a pet , is really not benefiiting me, but lowering me, I think. and I would be really risking alot if I sleep with him. I would say no. Plus I would consider him, and does he always flirt with his teacher's? And why?

But let's say, I was in love, which I probably wouldn never fall in love with my students, but if I did, :) I would make it right and wait until I am out of that class or he is graduated to pursue a relationship or casual friendship. Or wait until he is grown up. I would feel I am lowering myself though. Chasing a student. I mean, maybe just for mental stimulation.. It FEELS wrong to me. I like to look up to men, not down.

Edited by suvine
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I understand why the age of consent exists and I understand it's purposes. However, everybody matures differently, so I think that the age of consent should be more of a generality than a rule. In Pennsylvania, the age of consent is 16. That does not mean that a 15 year old cannot know the consequences of her relationship with an older man. I think every situation has to be analyzed with context in mind.

Also, aequalsa discussed undue influence of the teacher over the student. Well, what if the student was not taught by that teacher? What if the teacher just taught in the school and the student had no necessary academic interaction with them? Would it still be immoral then?

I don't think so, of course. Labeling people simply "student" and "teacher" removes all context from view. If this were a 12 year old, then yes, I think police should do a serious investigation. If the 12 year old was engaging in a relationship out of fear or confusion, then of course it is immoral for the teacher to take advantage like that. In a case of a high school student, the situation becomes a little easier because there are certainly many people by that age who can be mature beyond their years and understand the meaning of sex, pregnancy, and a relationship.

Edited by Mimpy
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A teacher can still grade a student objectively, since it is the tests, homework, papers that are alone graded, irregardless of what the teacher thinks about the student, as such. Favoring, feelings, and things of that nature are to be ruled out period. How is it an issue with "authority" "abuse of power" in the case of high school student and teacher? and what do you mean by "authority" and "abuse of power"?

True,I it should be the tests, homework, papers, etc that are alone graded, but I honestly don't know very many teachers who don't let their personal feelings, opinions, etc about a student affect their assessments. Maybe they don't convey that opinion via grades, meaning they still give that student the grade they rightfully deserve, but maybe their opinion/feeling (affection, hatred, what have you) comes across, say, in a recommendation letter they're supposed to write for the student. Or maybe it affects what kind of attention that student gets in class, positive or negative, which then carries a negative effect for the rest of the students in the class. And this happens even when there is no sexual intercourse involved; it happens even among educators of young children. Teachers have opinions and, unfortunately, amny of them let those opinions affect their perspectives. I can't speak for all teachers, of course. I certainly don't count myself as onere of these emotionallymoved teachers. That's not to say I don't have opinions about certain students, but I really do make a concerted conscious effort (which most teachers don't do) to separate that from any academic assessment I have to do. It does, however still hold an impact; it affects how much time I may spend working with that child. I tend to stay away from the student, for example, who has physically attacked me repeatedly throughout the year. I can still assess him academically, but I don't walk into the classroom each day thinking, "I can't wait to work with that child today." But maybe it's easier for me to make this separation since I work with YOUNG children. I can see where things would get considerably more complicated among consenting adults. There are good teachers out there who don't let personal opinions and feeling affect their teaching too much, but for every good teacher I believe there are five bad ones. I know what I hear being chattered about every day; I don't like it, but it's there.

I don't think age is the issue here, but, I do think the context of where that relationship is occuring is important (by context, i mean the position one person holds in the life of the other). At my school, the teachers are not even allowed to date the parents of anyone in their class let alone have anything to do with the student (my school does go through the middle school level. Teachers cannot even babysit for families in their class because my school (and I) believe that any kind of personal relationship that exists among parents/students/families affects that necessary objectivity that all good educators SHOULD have. I know the initial question was about high school students, and even though both parties may be of a consenting age, I think it openly and immorally defies the purpose of one's teaching position should you start sleeping with one of your students. It is an abuse of power, even if the vistim does nto see it as such. The teacher would become unfairly biased toward, or at the very least, give inordinate attention to that favored student, and just the impact that would have on the other students makes the situation disgusting to me. Maybe the other students wouldn't know about that relationship, but they would suffer all the same. The teacher would be failing to educate to the best of their potential at that point. In regard to that favored student, it may even cause the teacher to give them more leniencies than are helpful to that student's education.

The attraction and the age of the members involved are not important, if, as you say, they are both consenting adults (for age of consent laws do have a basis in neurological and psychological studies). But the context of their relationshp must be taken into consideration. If there were such an atrraction, the moral thing to do would be for the teacher to wait until that student was no longer a student in their class. If possible, the student could also switch classes. These are possibilites, but even still I think the best thing to do would be to wait for both parties in question ... for if there truly is passion and love to be had, why not wait until you are certain that it does not, in any way, shape, or form, depend on the power of authority or one's ability to be influenced?

The same rule I believe would apply to all situations where one of the persons involved is in a professional position of authority and trust in the others life, whether they recognize the power of that position or not. Teachers and students, psychologists/doctors and patients, etc. I just don't think it is possibile to not hold personal opinions and to not let them affect you in some way. The mind and the body are one. If the pleasure of the body is motivating your actions, why not wait until all moral quandaries are removed from the situation, ie, until two parties are more equal in the relationship (meaning one does not have the professional authority to influence or affect the other). Then both parties would know that they are acting on honest judgment and true affection. There would be no question about whether or not one of the ersons involved was exploiting the relationship for their own means, or acting because they felt obligated. Remove the professional context of the relationship and then see what happens, meaning unltimately, no teacher should pursue one of their students. There's nothing wrong with being attracted and having relations with a young consenting adult, but there is soemthing wrong with it if it is an adult who is also one of your students.

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Labeling people simply "student" and "teacher" removes all context from view. If this were a 12 year old, then yes, I think police should do a serious investigation.

Why? If, as you say, it is possible for a 15 year old to know the consequences of her relationship with an older man, why not a 14 year old? Or a 13 year old? Or a 12 year old. The law has to make clear what is proper behavior between an adult and a child when it comes to sexual behavior. Labeling peolpe 'student' and 'teacher' does not remove all context, it clarifies it. When a parent sends a child to school, it is done under the assumption that the adults at that school will behave as adults and temporary guardians of those children, not sexual predators. They are there to educate the kids, not seduce them.

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The mind and the body are one.

Again, this does not preclude a person from being capable of objectivity. The mind and body are always one, at all times and in places. As such, Objectivism would have no basis as a philosophy if one believes the premise that "the mind and body are one" prevents a person from being capable of objectivity. Under this presumption, one can never know truth, fact or reality because their personal feelings will always taint their view. I disagree.

Some people are quite capable of separating emotional attachments from their conclusions and actions. Objectivity merely requires a conscious focus on relevant facts when evaluating, deciding and/or acting. An objective man can recognize that despite his desire to sleep with someone, that that fact is irrelevant to a person's performance on a test, or in how he relates to that person sitting in a classroom. Objectivism holds that man can indeed know truth, fact and reality, despite his emotions and while keeping his mind firmly attached to his body. Objectivism certainly acknowledges the possibility that emotions can cloud one's judgement, but it does not assume that it is a foregone conclusion, which appears to be the opinion expressed by you, 4reason, and aequalsa.

Again, please clarify if this is not what you are intending to say, or if you have a different understanding objectivity or Objectivism.

Edited by RationalBiker
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When a parent sends a child to school, it is done under the assumption that the adults at that school will behave as adults and temporary guardians of those children, not sexual predators. They are there to educate the kids, not seduce them.

I think this is the key issue and it ties in well with what I said earlier about 'abuse of authority'. There is a reasonable expectation that people entrusted with certain powers will not engage in certain activities while in the capacity to use those powers. The potential or possiblity of abuse is too strong, regardless of whether or not such abuse would actually occur. Clearly defining these roles and resulting expectations helps to prevent folks from having to worry that such activity is likely to occur.

My comments are not meant to imply that fletch agrees with what I said. I don't know if he does or not. :)

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Objectivism certainly acknowledges the possibility that emotions can cloud one's judgement, but it does not assume that it is a foregone conclusion

I think that is certainly true, but in the case of a teacher who has shown such incredibly poor judgement as to sleep with an under age student, it is hard to imagine that same teacher would find giving the student an undeservedly higher grade to be some unbreachable moral barrier.

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I think that is certainly true, but in the case of a teacher who has shown such incredibly poor judgement as to sleep with an under age student, it is hard to imagine that same teacher would find giving the student an undeservedly higher grade to be some unbreachable moral barrier.

Oh.

I've been misreading this thread.

I assumed we were all intelligent enough to agree that sex with someone underage was wrong anyway, and that we were talking about a student of 16+

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I think well, that one should never say what another should or shouldn't do,

I am not really sure what you meant by this, but since you are new, I thought that I would offer some helpful comments.

Just so that you know, the philosophy of Ayn Rand indicates that it is always moral to pass judgment. To avoid passing judgment would be to evade the reality of a person. This is obviously different from legally forbidding individuals from pursuing irrational courses of action. In a free society, individuals are free to think, which means that they are free to make bad decisions so long as they do not violate anyone else's rights. Of course, if someone you care about is engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should probably advise them not to!

By the way, welcome to the forum!

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Oh.

I've been misreading this thread.

I assumed we were all intelligent enough to agree that sex with someone underage was wrong anyway, and that we were talking about a student of 16+

I should of made it more clearer. Yes, I am talking about students who are 16+.

So you all are saying that if it didn't have the Romeo & Juliet like consequences it would be okay?

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Why? If, as you say, it is possible for a 15 year old to know the consequences of her relationship with an older man, why not a 14 year old? Or a 13 year old? Or a 12 year old. The law has to make clear what is proper behavior between an adult and a child when it comes to sexual behavior. Labeling peolpe 'student' and 'teacher' does not remove all context, it clarifies it. When a parent sends a child to school, it is done under the assumption that the adults at that school will behave as adults and temporary guardians of those children, not sexual predators. They are there to educate the kids, not seduce them.

I did not mean to imply that a 12 year old cannot possibly understand the consequences. I am sure that there are some that could. But the chances of that are much less than suppose a 17 year old. Like I said, context matters.

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