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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Michelle R. Guyton, Ph.D.


The present study explored the effects of perceptions of sexual relationships between teachers and students based on the gender of the student, the gender of the teacher, and the age of the student. Eighty one participants read a scenario describing a sexual experience between a teacher and a student then answered a questionnaire of their perceptions of this experience. Overall, participants perceived the sexual experience between a teacher and a minor student as harmful to the student and perceived the teacher as responsible for the experience. Further, a teacher who engaged in a sexual relationship with a 6 year old student received significantly more severe sentencing than a teacher who engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16 year old student. Discussion and implication of these results are included.


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