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April 8, 1992

Sex in the Forbidden Zone: When Men in Power— Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers, and Others—Betray Women's Trust

Author Affiliations

Loyola University of Chicago

JAMA. 1992;267(14):1975-1976. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480140101047

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The author is a psychiatrist who practices in San Francisco. He became particularly interested in the topic of sexual misconduct between a professional man in power and a woman entrusted to his care, employ, or protection after he struggled with and resisted an opportunity on a rainy evening to cross the sexual barrier between himself and a young woman patient. He reflected, was concerned, and consulted a colleague. He proceeded to collect data from colleagues and from women patients. Volunteer letters or calls reached him after he lectured widely on the topic. Women were the majority of those who told of being violated. A few men in power came to him to describe how they crossed ethical sexual boundaries and their subsequent reactions.

Into the definitional gray area of sexual misconduct, Dr Rutter adds his new term "forbidden zone sex," which he describes as "Sexual behavior between a man and