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Societal perceptions of women committing sex crimes
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jcadam
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Feb 20, 2005, 05:10 AM
 
Interesting (in that it points out the obvious) article:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147179,00.html

I remember a previous thread on the LeFave case, where basically the attitude (mine too) was "she was hot, the boy should be grateful for his luck, count his blessings, and move on."

I remember my band teacher back in the 7th grade. He was a pretty cool guy (I thought), except he got it on with one of the female flute players and got sent to jail (his wife was pregnant at the time, too). I didn't have much respect for him after that
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JohnSmithXTREME
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Feb 20, 2005, 06:31 AM
 
The same thoughts have crossed my mind, ever since I read an article a few days ago about how a teacher had sex with a 14 year old boy, and after she served her jail sentence, she got back together with the victim (now legally an adult) and they got married. I began to wonder, why is something like this okay, whereas males convicted of the same crimes are seen as monsters? I'm not condoning either, it's just strange.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 20, 2005, 06:49 AM
 
You're referring to Mary K. Laturno, and many did/do regard her as a nut job. Women pedophiles are less well known than their male counterparts, so perhaps society is just adjusting to the knowledge that they do exist. It could also be argued, as some commentators do, that women get lighter sentences for a variety of crimes in comparison to men who have committed comparable offenses.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Oisín
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Feb 20, 2005, 07:35 AM
 
Originally posted by JohnSmithXTREME:
The same thoughts have crossed my mind, ever since I read an article a few days ago about how a teacher had sex with a 14 year old boy, and after she served her jail sentence, she got back together with the victim (now legally an adult) and they got married. I began to wonder, why is something like this okay, whereas males convicted of the same crimes are seen as monsters? I'm not condoning either, it's just strange.
Personally, I think the strange thing is that the men are seen as such monsters. If the act was completely consentual for both parties, I really don't see the big deal. Like you say, this teacher got back together with, and married, her former student, so she was hardly some cradle predator abusing her students. It's more likely they both wanted to, and thus did it. Had it been a male teacher and a 14-year-old girl, the situation would be the same. A 14-year-old girl is just as capable of having perfectly consentual sex as a 14-year-old boy.

One could argue that if they knew what's best for them, they wouldn't do it, in order to save themselves what will very likely become a lot of heartache and trouble - but since when do humans know what's best for them?
     
JohnSmithXTREME
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Feb 20, 2005, 08:00 AM
 
That's certainly the European perspective on things; if something happens between two people, and if they keep it private, then it's best to not bother. But you know how it is America, there are very precise rules surrounding peoples' private behaviour. Why else would they have words like "hebophile" for people who like teenagers? I'm 19, which means I'm probably a "hebophile" if I sleep with a 17 year old.
     
Oisín
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Feb 20, 2005, 08:09 AM
 
Originally posted by JohnSmithXTREME:
That's certainly the European perspective on things; if something happens between two people, and if they keep it private, then it's best to not bother. But you know how it is America, there are very precise rules surrounding peoples' private behaviour. Why else would they have words like "hebophile" for people who like teenagers? I'm 19, which means I'm probably a "hebophile" if I sleep with a 17 year old.
Hebophile? Never heard that before... nor has dictionary.com or m-w.com, for that matter...

Actually, we do have some of these rules in Denmark too. If someone over 18 sleeps with someone under 15, that's a crime as well. But if nobody presses charges, it's not one that will be punished. We don't have the concept of statutory rape at least.

(Can you be a "hebophile" if you're a teenager yourself? That sounds sort of strange... that's like a 6-year-old paedophile...)
     
JohnSmithXTREME
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Feb 20, 2005, 08:20 AM
 
Honestly, I'd never heard the word hebophile either, until I read the FoxNews article. I'd like to point out that the article was rubbish for the most part. Foxnews really needs to learn how to make coherent stories for their website.
     
sugar_coated
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Feb 20, 2005, 11:04 AM
 
Rare.
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Agent69
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Feb 20, 2005, 11:38 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
It could also be argued, as some commentators do, that women get lighter sentences for a variety of crimes in comparison to men who have committed comparable offenses.
I think that it true. Specifically, look at the cases of mothers killing their children. Personally, I think society needs to start treating women no differently than we would treat men in regards to their criminal conduct.
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slugslugslug
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Feb 20, 2005, 01:49 PM
 
Originally posted by Oisn:
Personally, I think the strange thing is that the men are seen as such monsters. If the act was completely consentual for both parties, I really don't see the big deal. Like you say, this teacher got back together with, and married, her former student, so she was hardly some cradle predator abusing her students. It's more likely they both wanted to, and thus did it. Had it been a male teacher and a 14-year-old girl, the situation would be the same. A 14-year-old girl is just as capable of having perfectly consentual sex as a 14-year-old boy.

...
You raise a very good point, though I think there is some validity to the idea that young people, especially girls, are more easily manipulated into doing things that in retrospect seem like horrible ideas. That said, there are plenty of adults who repeatedly enter into unfulfilling and even dangerous relationships, so there's no good reason to say that only and all teenagers are incompetent to make decisions about their sex lives and relationships. Automatically criminalizing any adult who has sex w/a "minor," without looking at the specific circumstances, is asinine.

An excellent book related to the thread is Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors.

Regarding Mary Kay LeTourneau: I'm not some sappy romantic, but I'm impressed by her and her babydaddy's (I forget his name) commitment. And happy for them. I do think that adults who are attracted to teenagers shouldn't be teachers, and that she should have been fired (well, really, she should've resigned before the whole mess, but she may not have had other career options at that point), but the amount of time she spent in jail is a travesty, especially given that nobody's ever convincingly shown that her lover was a "victim" of anything.
     
Ghoser777
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Feb 20, 2005, 02:31 PM
 
For the record, I also wish students wouldn't wear clothing that would make them sexually attractive to adults - I mean midriffs, way too short skirts, cleavage, etc. Not that this clothing justifies the adult response, but I'd appreciate being able to walk down the hall and not see my students wearing the same clothing I would expect scandalously clad women at a night club to wear.
     
Oisín
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Feb 20, 2005, 02:36 PM
 
Originally posted by Ghoser777:
For the record, I also wish students wouldn't wear clothing that would make them sexually attractive to adults - I mean midriffs, way too short skirts, cleavage, etc. Not that this clothing justifies the adult response, but I'd appreciate being able to walk down the hall and not see my students wearing the same clothing I would expect scandalously clad women at a night club to wear.
Well, I guess that's another difference between here and there: Here, the scandalously (or at least scantily) clad women at the night clubs are usually "your students" (ie. high school girls).
     
Ghoser777
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Feb 20, 2005, 03:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Oisn:
Well, I guess that's another difference between here and there: Here, the scandalously (or at least scantily) clad women at the night clubs are usually "your students" (ie. high school girls).
lol, good point. This is why I don't go out so much - the more I do, the more likely I'm going to run into one of my students on a fake id.
     
Daemon2
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Feb 20, 2005, 05:39 PM
 
Yeah, the perception is that women are weak and docile beings and need to be protected from men. Studies have shown that women on the whole get lighter sentances than men when it comes to sex crimes.
     
historylme
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Feb 21, 2005, 01:06 AM
 
Originally posted by Ghoser777:
lol, good point. This is why I don't go out so much - the more I do, the more likely I'm going to run into one of my students on a fake id.
That actually happened to me. It was my nightmare come true.
"I didn't know you liked VnV Nation?"
"Uhm, well... yeah."
"That is so cool! Oh, my friends are here, do you want to say hi?"
"Ah, no. I got to go."

It was a weir experience.


On a side note, so many girls like to dress provocatively it's insane. Twelve year olds showing thongs or wearing black push up braws on white t-shirts. That is not right.
     
torsoboy
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Feb 21, 2005, 02:54 AM
 
i think one reason that men (male teachers) get a harsher treatment than the women in these kind of cases may be because he could get the young girl pregnant and ruin her life forever... while the female teacher can only make the male student feel really good for a few minutes and have bragging right.
     
Daemon2
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Feb 21, 2005, 04:33 PM
 
Originally posted by torsoboy:
i think one reason that men (male teachers) get a harsher treatment than the women in these kind of cases may be because he could get the young girl pregnant and ruin her life forever... while the female teacher can only make the male student feel really good for a few minutes and have bragging right.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't the male student get the female teacher pregnant and make him fell bad forever? That's what happened in the Leturno case.
     
ghporter
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Feb 21, 2005, 06:23 PM
 
Being a teacher is a particularly special case of significant power coupled with significant responsibility, whether the teacher is male or female.

As an Air Force instructor, I wasn't even allowed to have lunch with my (all adult) students, specifically because it could be construed as showing favoritism. And of course there were a lot of people before me that forgot the professional side of their job and "hooked up" with students-all the cases I know of were male instructors and female (young and very low ranking) students. Each one of those cases caused the people in charge to make the rules that much tighter. When I stopped being an instructor, in 1999, I could not socialize on or off duty with ANY student, or with any other faculty member who was not of the same rank as me. All because idiots before me couldn't keep their pants zipped.

Now, let's move into the arena of public schools. As a parent, I have trusted the schools my son has attended implicitly-but I also was very active both in my son's life and in the goings on at school. I do not think that the school administration in the LeTourneau case was doing its job, and I certainly don't think that the boy's family was doing its job in monitoring his mental state and behavior-that sort of thing CANNOT go on without having a marked effect on the child's behavior throughout the day.

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