Survey of Social Workers' Sexual Attraction to their Clients:
Results, Implications, and Comparison to Psychologists
The following study ("National Survey of Social Workers' Sexual Attraction to their Clients: Results, Implications, and Comparison to Psychologists") was published in Ethics & Behavior, vol. 4, #4, pages 369-388.
ABSTRACT: Out of 1,000 to whom survey forms were sent, 453 clinical social workers returned usable forms (return rate = 45%) concerning sexual attraction to clients. The survey form was adapted from a national survey of psychologists conducted by K. S. Pope, P.C. Keith-Spiegel, & B.G. Tabachnick. Most participants reported having experienced sexual attraction to a client, causing (for most) guilt, anxiety, or confusion. Relatively few (3.6% of male participants and 0.5% of female participants) reported sex with a client. Training was related to likelihood of offending, though the effect was small and complex. An analysis of 8 national studies (data from 5,148 therapists) found significant effects for gender (more male offenders) and year of study (about 10% annual decrease in reported offenses since 1977) but not for profession. Most participants reported no graduate training whatsoever in the area of sexual attraction; and only 10% reported adequate training.
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