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Home > Public Resources > Trauma Blog > 2018-July > Media Matters: Media Misrepresentations of Educator Sexual Misconduct

Media Matters: Media Misrepresentations of Educator Sexual Misconduct

July 17, 2018

Educator sexual misconduct is defined as “behavior by an educator that is directed at a student and intended to sexually arouse or titillate the educator or the child” (Shakeshaft, 2004, p.1). Estimates reveal that roughly 7 percent of students in grades eight to 11 experience contact misconduct from an educator (i.e., being touched in a sexual way, kissing, and/or doing something sexual other than kissing; Shakeshaft, 2003). Media depictions of educator sexual misconduct, in which educators sexually abuse teens under the guise of sexual exploration or forbidden romance, often glorify these harmful interactions. This article aims to describe media portrayals of sexual relationships between teens and educators, provide research supporting why these representations might be dangerous, and suggest considerations for future directions.

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