Terms of endearment. Cute nicknames. Sweet talk. Call them what you want, but one thing is certain: There’s no amount of respect involved.
Terms such as “honey” and “sweetie” are generally thought of as friendly southern phrases. They are spoken by the smiling waitress taking your order, or the friendly neighbor passing by on the street or the man making small talk with you at the gas station.
However “sweet” it may be, there is something fundamentally wrong with the intention behind using these types of phrases.
Consider the way you would talk to someone of a higher authority than you. Your professor, your parents. Calling them by a name that implies something other than respect would never be accepted. This sort of thinking should be considered in everyday interaction.
This pattern of nicknames is somewhat uncomfortable at times. It can make whoever is addressed feel inferior from the implied imbalance of power, especially if she is a woman.