Hey I totally understand that way of thinking — especially when it comes to things like dress codes. Boys/men should definitely be able to control themselves around woman and this is something my father has always shown me. There is no excuse for the way we teach girls that they are responsible for boy’s emotions and reactions.
In this case, my father’s boundaries are for the protection of everyone involved and I still hold that they are wise. Why? Because he understands that counseling, much like teaching, politics, law enforcement, religious leaders, etc…, has a greater power divide than peer to peer. His job requires him to not only keep above reproach, but to protect against even the appearance of evil.
Spending hours a week alone with a woman in a vulnerable position can raise questions about his professionalism even if nothing untoward is happening. It sucks, but people can suck and when you are in a higher position of “power”, you do have to prepare for that. It only takes one rumor or false accusation to ruin the great reputations of both parties. (Not to degrade real assault, but we aren’t talking about that)
While I am personally an optimist and generally see the best in people, I also believe in personal wisdom. There have been situations where what was said and done behind the closed doors of my father’s practice have been called into professional question. Yet, because of his precautions, he was able to quickly show the accusations were completely without merit.
I think there are many people in positions of authority that could benefit from a little bit more of that space — even in the corporate world. :)
(It’s not just sexual accusations, one of his coworkers was taken to court and accused of protecting a father who was convicted of raping his children. The coworker was able to show exactly what had been said in those meetings, and what he had told the police. (As they are mandatory reporters.) While counselors 100% want to help their clients, they also understand that not every counselee will act in their best interests.)
Hopefully that clears it up. :)