An instructor in such a relationship is prohibited from instructing, evaluating, or supervising that student in the future.
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Researchers have found that the brains of traditional-age students have not fully developed and, because of this, they are prone to risk-taking behavior, making them susceptible to exploitation.
According to the American Association of University Professors, policies regarding relationships between students and professors vary across the country.
And critics also note that such relationships also create conflicts involving a student's friends and a professor's colleagues, with the latter facing the prospect of grading a colleague's significant other.
Dziech says psychology research is providing a new justification for these policies.
In 2003, the University of California adopted a policy prohibiting romantic or sexual relationships between faculty members and students they are teaching or have a reasonable expectation of teaching in the future.