Gender Bias in the Education System: Perceptions of Teacher Student Sexual Relationships

Rebecca Geddes, Graham Tyson, Scott McGreal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Research on perceptions of child sexual abuse has documented gender bias favouring female perpetrators. The current study aimed to determine if previous findings into perceptions of child sexual abuse translated to perceptions of abuse of adolescent students by school teachers using a theoretical framework of attribution and gender-development theory. Randomly selected participants (86 female and 44 males) responded to a brief vignette about a student'teacher sexual relationship (male teacher/female student or female teacher/male student). Results identified a gender bias in favour of female teachers on emotional reactions of anger and desire for consequences. Female participants expressed greater anger and rated the sexual relationship as more serious than their male counterparts. Results suggest that adolescent victims were seen as relatively mature and suffering less harm than younger aged victims. Finally, results suggest that attributions made by both men and women regarding teacher'student sexual relationships were consistent with traditional gender-role stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-618
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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