Lack of public outrage over the latest string of sex-abuse cases involving female teachers and young male students leads one columnist to believe female offenders are treated much more leniently than their male counterparts.
A 42-year-old female Catholic school teacher from Albany, New York, was recently charged with two felony counts of third-degree rape involving a 16-year-old, and is accused of having sex with teenage boys after plying them with alcohol on a school trip. And in Miami, a middle school teacher will stand trial after allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old male student numerous times. Similar cases have arisen recently in Tennessee, Texas, and California.
Columnist Glenn Sacks believes there is a double-standard is the way that society treats males perps and female perps in sex-abuse case.
“With a 42-year-old male teacher who had sex with a bunch of different 16- and 17-year-old girls, that guy would go away for a long, long time,” he posits. “There would be no sympathy for him. You wouldn't have people saying that he's a father of four [or asking] should he really face jail time, as one paper said.”
But it is different, he says or so society implies when the perpetrator is a woman. Sacks says the behavior of female sex offenders is judged more charitably than that of their male counterparts.
“So a man does this and he's seen as a creep, an exploiter of young women, a pervert,” he notes. “[But] a woman does that, she's seen as an oddball but not really condemned in the same way. Sometimes she's seen as an oddball who's giving boys the time of their lives, like she's actually a good person and you sometimes see some of that.”
As an example, Sacks notes that on the popular ABC evening soap Desperate Housewives, one of the female stars has on ongoing sexual relationship with an underage boy from the neighborhood. Modern culture, he suggests, has given women permission to do what they please in situations where men are not given that permission.