Evading Title IX’s Advances: Campus Bans on Faculty-Student Sex


It is no coincidence that the last decade witnessed the growing popularity of university bans on faculty-student sex, along with the great Title IX battle over sur-vivors’ and respondents’ rights. Title IX is now closely scrutinized, heavily regulated, and often litigated. Bans on faculty-student sex, however, have escaped similar scrutiny. By labeling a faculty-student interaction a violation of a ban on faculty-student sex, rather than sexual harassment, university administrators can enable drastically different outcomes at the discretion of the enforcing official. In one context, the ban serves as a back-up plan to Title IX, increasing institutional leverage and ensuring some appropriate action as the result of an investigation. In other contexts, the ban presents an opportunity for select faculty to forego the stigma of sexual misconduct proceedings and an opportunity for university officials to turn noncompliance with Title IX procedural requirements into harmless error. While scholars have focused on the employment law and constitutional implications of regulating faculty-student sex, this article evaluates the impact of campus bans on Title IX proceedings in light of the justifications for the ban. While bans are hailed as one more tool for universities to prevent faculty student sexual harassment, this article highlights what the student loses in the process, from the right to an advisor, transparency in the process, the opportunity to be heard, the chance to review evidence and learn of the outcome of the proceedings, and the agency to consent to a university process that risks displacing the student’s voice for that of the university.


Stanford University Stanford, California
  • Jessica G. Price, Evading Title IX's Advances: Campus Bans on Faculty-Student Sex, 19 Stan. J. C.R. & C.L. 51 (2023).
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