Ethical and legal implications of sexual relationships with students, supervisees, clients
Ed Etzel, West Virginia University, USA
Theme: Professional issues and ethics (AASP-related)
Program ID: SYM-13
Presentation: October 3, 2013 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Sport psychology professionals and students interact with a wide range of clients, research participants, students, co-workers, and others on a daily basis. Many of these people are interesting, fit, and active. Naturally, we find some people who we teach, train, study, and consult with to be attractive. Others may correspondingly be attracted to us. Even though we are usually trained to recognize sexual attraction and to consult with mentors/supervisors and/or colleagues about these issues, we may be worried about a range of taboos, experience conflicting reactions, feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, reluctant to talk about this normal phenomenon, and unsure exactly how to address this powerful issue. Unfortunately, some of us are inclined to and ultimately act on attraction and so initiate intimate relationships with those we find attractive. These intimate, often sexual relationships are generally seen as harmful to others and ourselves in a number of ways. AASP’s ethics code, as well as other allied professional ethics codes, direct members to avoid harming others and to minimize harm whenever the risk is sensed and avoidable. Further, standard 9 of AASP’s ethics code directs members to not engage in sexual relationships with students, supervisees, and clients. The purpose of this part of the symposium will be to address selected ethical and legal aspects of sexual attraction and multiple relationships.