Eight Topics: A Conversation on Sexual Boundary Violations Between Charles Amrhein and Muriel Dimen

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Abstract

This interview, whose format’s inherent intersubjectivity fosters affect and hence new ideas, covers 8 topics: (1) thinking despite the astonishment sparked by incidents of sexual boundary violation; (2) sexual boundary violations as efforts to reach an alpha state for which is lacking either the language or the habit of mind to turn conceptions into thought; (3) the prevalence of reactivity upon learning of a sexual boundary violation; (4) “othering” and “scapegoating,” consequent to sexual boundary violations, as rooted in both psyche and culture; (5) the importance of context and community to thinking about sexual boundary violations; (6) the dangers, to both individuals and the profession, of silence; (7) routine speech, both oral and written, as key to the community’s address of this dilemma; and (8) the frequent use of gossip—speech-as-action—around sexual boundary violations. Discourse, or meaning-making, about sexual boundary violations must be open to both thought and feeling, morality and accusation, defense and reflection, personal expression and group expression.

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