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Romantic relationships between faculty members and students are often depicted in movies or books, and the student falling in love with his/her professor seems to be a bit of a cliché. But how common are such relationships in practice?

1 Answer 1

I've found a rather old survey (1982) of David L. Rowland, Larry J. Crisler and Donna J. Cox that claimed

Of the 184 respondents (59.8% female and 41.2% male), over one-third of both sexes reported flirting with their instructors, while 46% of females and 32% of males felt that instructors had flirted with them.

Flirting is, of course, is not the same as a romantic relationship. Patricia A. Rupert and Deborah L. Holmes (1997) survey earlier studies of the sexual relations between faculty and students:

in a survey of 807 male faculty, Fitzgerald, Weitzman, Gold, and Ormerod (1988) found that 26% of the 235 respondents reported having sexual encounters with students; in a similar study of 483 male and female psychology professors, Tabachnick, Keith-Spiegel, and Pope (1991) obtained a rate of 11%. Although there was a considerable difference in these rates no doubt in part due to the inclusion of female faculty in the second survey - both indicate that sexual encounters between faculty and their students are commonplace on our campus

One notable example is the marriage of Professor Philip Bobbitt (Princeton (A.B.), Yale (J.D.), and Oxford (Ph.D.)) and Maya Ondalikoglu,Columbia Law School graduate.