Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a little chemistry

this has been modified from its original version.

I'm sure this has been thought of extensively in the professordom, but working around 18-22 year olds means that your entire work day is spent with people at their most beautiful and most fit. So finding your students attractive seems natural. Young adults are attractive, full stop. Being attracted to some of them, I suppose, is understandable. Have you ever felt attracted to one of your students? This question does NOT ask if there was any change in your behavior due to the feelings.


  1. I had a very attractive female grad student once. We worked for a year without problem, but near the end she showed up wearing a very nice and revealing outfit and I have to say it took all of my will power to stay on topic. She graduated not long after that (phew!).

  2. If a male professor said that his attractions did not matter in his interactions with female students, would you believe him? If not, why do you believe yourself when you say that you are able to work with a student without your attractions compromising your ability to act professionally?

  3. It might have to do with you being alone in the evenings but I sort of doubt that. I've had the same experience, although being younger and not professor but still; men (my vice) 20-25 who are fit and in shape and in the same lab... well...

    Then again, I think that is fairly normal and what is expected. To THINK and look; to ACT on it though - never! I think that is what bothers me when looking at my old dept, all those profs who started affairs/acted on the feeling of attraction to the younger (most often) women.

    but in your mind? It's just human...

  4. I agree, students can be very attractive, and I often think "Wow, what a gorgeous kid!" but I don't think I have ever felt what you describe, where you actually think about the other person when they are not there. I think it's primarily because I am always acutely aware of how very, very young students are and that I must seem positively ancient to them (I'm 38). All these gorgeous young men really mostly remind me of my oldest son and his friends nowadays.

    However, I have had very strong chemistry with some of my colleagues of age similar to mine. There are some smoking hot scientists (not an oxymoron!) in my circles.

  5. I keep finding out about more and more cases of (male, usually married) profs sleeping with (female) students half their age. I am sure most people don't act on their thoughts, but it is still a little disturbing, to say the least.

  6. ScienceGirl, yes, guys do this all the time.