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Is another taboo about to be broken?

A British professor who has been studying pupil-teacher relationships for 25 years concludes sexual contact between them should not necessarily be criminal conduct – in fact, she says, they can be positive experiences.



Prof. Pat Sikes

Pat Sikes of the href="mailto:education@sheffield.ac.uk">University of Sheffield was seduced by her history teacher at the age of 14 and later became his wife. Now she has written “Scandalous Stories and Dangerous Liaisons: When Female Pupils and Male Teachers Fall In Love.”

It contends classroom affairs are more common than is usually imagined. She writes that expressions of sexuality are part of the everyday exchanges of school life.

“And nowhere more so, perhaps, than in the seductive nature and ‘erotic charge’ often characteristic of ‘good’ teaching which provokes a positive and exciting response,” she writes.

Sikes met her own husband, David, in 1970 on his first day as a teacher at age 22.

“It wasn’t until two years later, on the evening he left to take up a post elsewhere, that we declared our feelings. I returned after the summer vacation as his girlfriend,” she said.

The couple finally married when Sikes was in her 30s.

Sikes condemned “exploitative” relationships and said her study was based on stories volunteered by those who had no regrets.

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