While the majority of sexual abuse cases involving minors are perpetrated by adult males, there is a concerning growth in the number of women who are accused of sexually abuse.
While these cases are generally considered to be underreported, www.wbir.com, a Memphis media outlet, reports, “According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, a Department of Justice project, in 1994, less than 1% of incarcerated rape and sexual assault offenders were females, or fewer than 800. By 2006, however, the FBI reported that females accounted for nearly 10% of sex crimes. And studies indicate that women commit approximately 20% of sex offenses against children.
Still, incidents are “severely underreported,” says Curtis St. John, a spokesman for MaleSurvivor, a support organization. “It’s hard enough for a boy or a man to come forward when the offender is a male,” said St. John, who was sexually abused as a 10-year-old boy by his male math tutor, a middle school teacher. “When it is a woman, society doesn’t even let them (the boys) think of themselves as victims.”
This societal double standard makes it even more difficult for survivors of sexual abuse by women to come forward and begin the healing process. This requires a change in our perception of what constitutes sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse regardless of whether the perpetrator is male or female. As a society, we have a duty to protect minors from such criminal behavior. It makes no difference if the crime is committed by a male or a female. When minors become the targets of any sexual behavior it’s a crime and society has an obligation to protect minors and punish criminals irrespective of gender.