Glorified Taboo: Teacher-student Sexual Relations in the Twenty-first Century

By Cody Carlos Rodriguez.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 17, 2014 $US5.00

Teacher-student sexual relations, whether consensual or abusive, are a taboo topic of discussion in our culture and one that has seen much media attention in the 21st century. In particular, there has been a surge in reported incidents involving a female teacher. It leaves one to wonder if sexual relations portrayed in various digital media, via news, music, and film, have had a major influence on how normalcy of such relations are perceived. After analyzing written works, forty-three popular songs, fifty films, and various state laws that contain an element of teacher-student misconduct, statutory rape, or a very large gap in age difference, I sent out a questionnaire via Surveymonkey.com and Facebook that asked volunteers if they were familiar with any of the aforementioned subjects. The results showed a sincere lack of awareness to laws such as the age-of-consent, statutory rape, or child seduction, but much exposure to popular media condoning taboo actions with a possible correlation between the age of offenders and the amount of digital entertainment produced by decade. Also, I sent an electronic message to each of the “Best Education Schools” as identified by US News in 2012. This was to inquire whether they had courses for teacher candidates that reflect the various viewpoints of sexual misconduct for educators, coaches, and staff. To my surprise, there were no such courses in place. Though not limited to one research conclusion alone, I propose to establish a national requirement for teachers to take one course that introduces them to a well-rounded perspective on this serious social issue with the intent to reduce such professional misconduct.

Keywords: Sociology, Education, Media Studies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.1-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 17, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 787.682KB)).

Cody Carlos Rodriguez

Adjunct Lecturer, Departments of Sociology and Education, Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, HI, USA