Committee Chair

Garland, Tammy S.

Committee Member

Crittenden, Courtney; Policastro, Christina


Dept. of Criminal Justice and Legal Assistant Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study examined faculty responses concerning consensual sexual relationships between faculty members and students. Using self-report data collected from 166 university faculty members, this analysis sought to determine what variables predicted whether faculty respondents believed that a difference existed in defining consensual sexual relationships and sexual harassment. Results indicated that belief in power differentials between faculty and students as well as whether the faculty member held either a full-time or part-time position on campus influenced respondents’ distinction between consensual sexual relationships and sexual harassment. These results further support the issues addressed in the literature review indicating that there is a great deal of ambiguity and subjectivity when defining consensual sexual relationships within universities.


First of all I would like to thank my committee, as without them I would still be clueless in trying to piece together this entire manuscript. Dr. Tammy Garland, my committee chair, is owed a great deal of thanks as she showed me I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. You have taught me invaluable lessons that will stay with me through my doctorate program and beyond. Thank you for everything, I am insanely grateful. Secondly, I also have to express my gratitude to Dr. Courtney Crittenden for her incredible kindness and showing me that the unconventional is the spice of life. You have brought many laughs and lighter moments to sometimes ordinary days. Third, of course I have to thank Dr. Christina Policastro who was priceless in guiding me whenever I needed assistance. It was your patience and grace that made all the difference. Of course, I need to extend my sincere appreciation to the entire Criminal Justice Department who have taught me so much over my many years in both the Bachelor’s and Master’s program. It was here that I first felt at home and discovered a place where I could pursue my passions. Finally, my deepest gratitude is owed to my husband, Kole Bennett. Your bravery, love, and support have been instrumental in my journey, especially during the conception of this manuscript. Your fierce loyalty, dedication, and patience has eased this process and I can never thank you enough.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Teacher-student relationships; College students -- Sexual behavior; College teachers -- Sexual behavior


Consensual sexual relationships; Dual role relationships; Faculty-student sex

Document Type

Masters theses




ix, 58 leaves