Paul Abramson, who teaches psychology at the UCLA, has made a forceful contribution to the debate over regulations prohibiting consensual relationships between students and faculty. Abramson thinks that such rules are not only unwise but unconstitutional. He set out his thoughts in an essay that appeared yesterday in the Boston Globe's Ideas section. A sample:
"Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic shift in how universities handle romantic relationships between teachers and students. Sparked in part by fears of expensive sexual harassment lawsuits, colleges have widely banned such relationships, adopting strict rules on dating among students, professors, and even teaching assistants. These rules ignore the rights and liberties of students and professors alike, and treat both as if they were children. They also represent an assault on one of the most fundamental rights of conscience: the right to choose our relationships."