Female sex offenders reveal cultural double standard
The Seattle Times, Special to The Seattle Times, By Rebecca Morris, September 10, 2007
It all seems so terribly familiar.
A trusted, even respected or beloved teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
What used to shock us, but is now much too commonplace, is that the teacher is a woman.
Their names become tabloid headlines: Mary K. Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Diehl-Moore and others.
And now two more cases, both local.
Jennifer Leigh Rice, a 31-year-old former Tacoma teacher, was charged with having sex with a 10-year-old boy who had been in her fourth-grade class. The boy's father says she lavished the boy with attention until she was told not to come to their house anyRead More ../p>
So she abducted the boy, police say, drove him to a highway rest stop outside Ellensburg and had sex with him. After her arrest in early August, Rice said she'd had sex with the boy four or five times, including once when she sneaked into his house as his parents slept.
Earlier this year, former Tenino math teacher Dawn Welter, 38, was charged with second-degree sexual misconduct after spending the night at a motel with a 16-year-old female student. Her lawyer explained her relationship with the student as "horseplay that became sexual."
The decadelong wave of sexual offenses committed by women - teachers in particular have exposed a cultural double standard: The public is more willing to accept the female abuser's claim that she had a "relationship" with the victim. And in cases in which the male is a teenager, the sexual abuse is more likely to be dismissed as a rite of passage. The questionable, yet overriding assumption, is that women predators are somehow different from men.
"Men are demonized, women are diagnosed. Men are beasts, but women are troubled or mentally ill," said media scholar Matthew Felling in an interview with Fox News. In fact, accounts of women sexual offenders are often more titillating than harsh. Felling calls the news coverage of young, attractive teachers involved with their students "part crime drama, part Penthouse letter."
About 25 percent of women and up to 17 percent of men say they experienced sexual abuse as children, ranging from seeing someone exposing themselves to intercourse. Boys are less likely to report abuse.
Despite the troubling news accounts, the National Education Association says schools are still among the safest places for children to be. The number of cases of sexual abuse by teachers, male and female, is less than 10 percent of all sex crimes against minors.
The current awareness of women predators began with Mary K. Letourneau, a 34-year-old elementary-school teacher and a married mother of four, who in 1996 began a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old former student, Vili Fualaau. Letourneau eventually had two children with him and served more than seven years in prison. She resumed contact with Fualaau, by then an adult, after she was released. While a male offender might have been publicly shunned, Letourneau's 2005 wedding to Fualaau was covered by "Entertainment Tonight."
Female predators' crimes are often attributed to marital problems, depression, loneliness, immaturity or self-esteem issues. Letourneau was reported to have "a loveless marriage" and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Not only do we look at female offenders differently, so do the offenders themselves. Women predators are more likely to see the abuse as a romantic relationship. Letourneau told CNN's Larry King that she and Fualaau had a "deep spiritual oneness" before they were ever sexual, and that she did not consider herself a sexual predator.
Dr. Leigh Baker, a clinical psychologist in Colorado, interviewed hundreds of male and female predators for her book "Protecting Your Children From Sexual Predators." All were incarcerated at the time, and their stories help form her theory that there are four types of predators: inadequate, narcissistic, anti-social and pedophile.
An inadequate adult (and predator) has trouble forming attachments with other adults and is most comfortable with children, she says. A narcissist loves him- or herself to the detriment of others; someone who's anti-social doesn't abide by society's rules; and a pedophile is sexually aroused by children.
While some women are pedophiles and some men do profess their love for the children they sexually abuse, women are more likely to "couch it as a relationship," according to Baker. Men are more likely to be serial pedophiles; women seek that "deep spiritual oneness" that Letourneau says she found.
The traits women predators exhibit - seeing themselves as a victim, low self-esteem, a sense of inadequacy, needing to be the center of attention, putting their own need for a connection before common sense - probably place most women predators into two of Baker's four categories.
"My suspicion is if you took a large enough number of female predators, they would fall into all four types. But, we know women are less anti-social than men, and there are fewer female pedophiles, so I think most women are narcissistic or inadequate types of predators."
There are signs of the inadequate, the narcissist and the anti-social predator in Letourneau. She formed an inappropriate bond with a 12-year old, ignoring society's more thand the well-being of her own four children.
While a mental illness may produce hypersexuality, impulsiveness and poor decision-making, such a diagnosis for a sexual predator is rare, according to Baker. They are more likely to have a personality disorder (such as a anti-social, or narcissistic) or to have been sexually abused themselves.
The "Mrs. Robinson Syndrome"
To watch NBC's "To Catch A Predator" you'd think all predators are men. The series uses decoys on the Internet to lure men hoping to hook up with underage teens. Robert Weiss, executive director and founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, who provided his expertise in one of the episodes, says sexual compulsions on the Internet are male-dominated.
But female predators are beginning to use the Internet - not in an anonymous way to find children but to stay in close touch with those they are involved with. Rice, the former Tacoma teacher, communicated online often with the 10-year-old she had sex with, according to court records.
Then there is the ultimate double standard: The wink wink, nudge nudge, of boys getting their sexual initiation from grown women.
"Society sees it as they got 'lucky' " to receive a sexual initiation from a woman, according to Dr. Keith Kaufman, chairman of the department of psychology at Portland State University. "But their brain maturation isn't complete. Boys aren't in a position to give consent to a sexual relationship. Girls see it as abusive much Read More ..ickly. Boys won't want to see themselves as a victim."
There is a prevailing sense that boys are not harmed by sexual liaisons with older women. It's called the "Mrs. Robinson Syndrome," after the character in the 1967 film "The Graduate." But Benjamin, Mrs. Robinson's target, wasn't a child; he was in his 20s, had just graduated from college and was contemplating that career in plastics.
"We tend to see the female teacher-male student relationship as less abusive and less harmful psychologically," according to Dr. Susan G. Kornstein, a psychiatrist and director of the Institute for Women's Health and the Mood Disorders Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. "But in fact, a sexual relationship between a female teacher and a male student can be just as harmful and can have both short- and long-term consequences on the child's emotional stability and psychological and sexual development."
Boys who have sex with grown women are anything but "lucky." "It is always abuse," says Dr. Kaufman.
Rebecca Morris has been a broadcast and print journalist for 33 years. She teaches journalism at Bellevue Community College.
Copyright Â© 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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Hundreds of them.... female teachers who sexually assaulted 12 year old boys. Read about a lesbian tennis coach who sexually assaulted her 13 year old female student.
Read how a 40 year old female sexual predator blamed a 7 year old boy whom she claimed was "coming on to me" and whom she "hoped to marry someday." Read More ..
FEMALE RAPISTS STRUCK BEFORE All-woman rape gang who kidnapped man, 23, and sexually abused him for three days linked to at least SEVEN other attacks, South African cops fear
The men are often fed Viagra and one even watched as his semen was put into vials and frozen in a cool box
The Sun, UK, Jamie Pyatt, Corey Charlton, May 30, 2017
DETECTIVES believe a gang of three women who kidnapped a man and put him through a three day rape ordeal may have struck a number of times before in South Africa.
Officers are to look at up to SEVEN cases in recent years where a male has been kidnapped – sometimes at gunpoint – by three women who have then repeatedly raped him.
The men are often fed Viagra in an energy drink to make them perform and one victim of a three woman gang watched as his semen was put into small vials and frozen in a cool box.
One cop involved in one of the investigations said he believe there was a trade in selling the stolen semen to faith healers or "witch doctors" who use it to make "magic" potions.
The latest attack in Pretoria - the country's capital - has led police to appeal for other potential victims to spare their blushes and report it.
Although at least seven cases have been on police files for several years, many more are believed to have gone unreported as men are often too embarrassed to report being raped by women.
The Sun Online told earlier how the latest kidnap victim was found traumatised and exhausted after being dumped in a field semi-naked and told officers about his 72-hour sex ordeal.
The 23-year-old man said he was in a 15 seater communal taxi in which three young women were already travelling and he was told by the driver to sit in the front beside him.
Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said: "One of the women the allegedly injected him with an unknown substance and he passed out and woke up in an unfamiliar room. Read More ..
VANCOUVER - Canada's largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be - with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
"Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female," said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver's McCreary Centre Society.
"I must admit it wasn't something we were expecting."
Associate Press, U.S.A.
April 3, 2009
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania mother has been charged with giving her 13-year-old daughter drugs and alcohol so the woman's boyfriend could impregnate the girl without her knowing, police said Thursday.
Shana Brown, 32, is no longer able to have children but wanted to have a baby with her current boyfriend, Duane Calloway, said Uniontown Police Detective Donald Gmitter. The pair decided to drug the girl so Calloway, 40, could have sex with her, he added.
"There's some sick people on this case," Gmitter said.
Brown has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, turned herself in Thursday and was being held in the Fayette County jail, police said. Brown's attorney did not return a call for comment.
Calloway faces several counts of attempted rape. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
The three attacks occurred in Brown's home in Uniontown, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, according to the criminal complaint.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
This woman raped or sexually assaulted over 100 children by her own account.
Because we assume women never commit child sexual abuse, we treat one who is accused with disproportionate disgust
The Guardian, UK
June 11, 2009
About 20 years ago, I gave a talk about sexual abuse to the RAF. At the end, a young airman came up to me and said, "It's not just men, you know," before hurriedly walking away. That pulled me up sharp. Up till then, like most people working in the area of sexual abuse, I'd always assumed the abusers were men.
This just isn't so. We can't be sure of the precise prevalence of sexual abuse by women, as there hasn't been enough research into the subject. Academics have just assumed it doesn't happened. But conservative estimates suggest that 5% of girls and 20% of boys who have reported being abused have been abused by women. From my own research - I have had 800 cases reported to me - I believe the more likely figure is that it is 20% of all sexual abuse that is done by women.
It is women themselves who have done most to propagate this conspiracy of silence. It has almost become a feminist axiom that it is men who are to blame for abuse and that if women are in some way implicated, it is only because they have somehow been forced or controlled into doing so against their will. Again, this turns out to be completely incorrect: 75% of the cases reported to me involved women acting on their own. Read More ..
OVERALL NEGLECT OF FEMALE SEXUAL OFFENCES
Correctional Services Canada
Service correctionnel du Canada
Female Sex Offenders in the Correctional Service of Canada, Case
Délinquantes sexuelles sous la
responsabilité du Service correctionnel du Canada, études de cas
LITERATURE REVIEW ON FEMALE SEX OFFENDERS
Although there is an increasing literature on male sex offenders, there is a noticeable dearth of information concerning female sex offenders. Most of the work in the area has come from three of the largest prison programs for female sex offenders in Missouri, Minnesota, and Kentucky.
OVERALL NEGLECT OF FEMALE SEXUAL OFFENCES
For a variety of societal reasons, female sexual abuse is likely to remain unnoticed. Some researchers have found that the incidence of sexual contact with boys by women is much more prevalent than is contended in the clinical literature (Condy, Templer Brown & Veaco, 1987). Despite society's increasing concern about sexual assault, there may be several reasons for the under-reporting of female sexual abuse of both child and adult victims. Traditionally, society has held preconceptions of women as non-violent nurturers. Women in general, and mothers mopre specifically, have more freedom than men to touch children (Marvasti, 1986). Therefore, a man may be mpre easily perceived as abusive when touching a child than when a woman touches a child in a similar manner (Plummer, 1981). Further, sexual offences perpetrated by women are often incestuous in nature and children may be reluctant to report sexual contact with a parent on whom they are dependent (Groth, 1979). Health care workers are often unable to detect mother-child incest as mothers often accompany their children to the doctor's office. This may serve as a barrier to detecting sexual abuse of the child (Elliott & Peterson, 1993). The medical profession is only reluctantly becoming sensitive to the fact that females can, in fact, be perpetrators of sexual abuse (Wilkins, 1990; Krug, 1989).
EXAMEN DE LA DOCUMENTATION SUR LES DÉLINQUANTES SEXUELLES
La documentation sur les délinquants sexuels s'accroît alors que l'information sur les délinquantes sexuelles est clairement déficiente. La plupart des travaux en ce domaine proviennent de trois des programmes les plus importants établis pour les délinquantes sexuelles au Missouri, au Minnesota et au Kentucky.
DÉSINTÉRESSEMENT GÉNÉRAL À L'ÉGARD DES INFRACTIONS SEXUELLES COMMISES PAR DES FEMMES
Pour diverses raisons sociales, les mauvais traitements sexuels infligés par les femmes demeurent généralement cachés. Certains chercheurs ont découvert que l'incidence des contacts sexuels entre des femmes et des garçons est beaucoup plus élevée que ne l'estime la documentation clinique (Condy, Templer Brown et Veaco, 1987). En dépit du fait que la société se préoccupe de plus en plus de l'agression sexuelle, plusieurs raisons pourraient faire que l'on parle moins des cas de mauvais traitements sexuels infligés par des femmes à des enfants ou à des adultes. La société a toujours perçu les femmes comme des nourricières non violentes. Les femmes en général, et surtout les mères, ont plus de latitude pour toucher les enfants que les hommes (Marvasti, 1986). Par conséquent, un homme qui touche un enfant de la même manière que le fait une femme peut être plus facilement perçu comme un agresseur (Plummer, 1981). En outre, les infractions sexuelles commises par des femmes sont souvent de nature incestueuse et les enfants peuvent hésiter à dénoncer un contact sexuel avec un parent dont ils dépendent (Groth, 1979). Les travailleurs du domaine de la santé sont souvent incapables de déceler les cas d'inceste entre l'enfant et la mère car cette dernière accompagne souvent l'enfant au bureau du médecin. Cela peut empêcher de dépister les mauvais traitements sexuels infligés à l'enfant (Elliott et Peterson, 1993). La profession médicale prend à contrecoeur conscience du fait que les femmes peuvent en fait infliger de mauvais traitements sexuels. (Wilkins, 1990; Krug, 1989). Read More ...
Had intercourse with 2 teenagers
Pleads guilty to incest charges
A Kitchener woman has pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with her two teenage sons on separate occasions.