Re: Physical contact vs. "no-touch" policy
Great post, Stina. I think anytime you mix genders or teach kids these issues come up. It is a mined field in some places and less of an issue in others. As for gender personality and background play a huge role in what is acceptable and what isn't.
The Sensei is the leader of the class and he sets the mood, and tone for training. If the dojo atmosphere and expectation demands respect for and from each adult student, and the students take that serious, on their best manners and behavior then inappropriate touch becomes a rare issue. What an easy thing to do in an Aikido dojo then to have respect. I think it is the vigilance is what keeps respect alive. If this is the case then when accidental contact with the gender parts is an accidental part of training. This goes for the same in all training contact. Because you have to touch each other to do Aikido and be instructed.
A violation is type of touch. For different places different types of touch are not acceptable. For example, rubbing someone in on the back, in some places, who isn't injured during practice isn't an acceptable part of training; other places no big deal. On the other hand elbowing, or slapping someone isn't proper touch in some places as it is in other. Then again some people are more tolerance then others in what they personally define as good or bad touch. For a safety rule to avoid bad touch, there maybe a rule in the dojo that only allows massage by a professional in the dojo. Bad touch isn't just passive touch, it can be a strike or slap as well. Any touch outside of practice and training can be bad touch.
Proper touch and bad touch is something that is dictated by the Sensei and the responsibility of everyone.
As far as children go, it is pretty clear cut in my mind, also tone and attitude play a role in what is inappropriate. I have never worked with children or anyone 17 years or younger.