Social Question

Shippy's avatar

A question about male vs female sexual predators?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) November 18th, 2012

I haven’t been watching the news lately, well the last few years. So maybe this is old news. But the question runs a little deeper.

I watched the interview with Debra Lafave. The teacher who had sexual relations with a 13 or 14 year old student.

I saw posts under the YouTube video, saying things like “Oh I wish she had molested me” or ‘Dam why didn’t she choose me”. These were from male viewers no doubt. You can watch the interview on YouTube if you like.

I discussed this with a friend, and here were the interesting points. Women would not post those types of comments. Why not? Are girls more traumatized by sexual molestation than men, if so why?

We thought maybe it was a case by case situation, as some predators are loving, and the victim in love? Some are violent. Some 14 years olds seem much older. I realize though that they are still kids. But she fell in love with this child? Plus we felt she got off lightly since she is so pretty?

OK so your thoughts on this appreciated, is abuse different for boys than girls? If you think so, then why? I definitely think there is a difference but cannot substantiate my thinking right now. Is this woman a predator, did she lose reason for a moment in time, she is mentally ill, or is she a sexual deviant?

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13 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

Any adult who thinks they are having a “relationship” with a child is mentally ill, doesn’t matter about the genders. It could be deemed more traumatic if it is an adult male and female child because the child could become pregnant and that not only disrupts their life mentally but physically as well. And of course there is still the stud vs slut perception of society in general. What always makes me scratch my head is the prevalence of it and with rare exceptions the adult is male. I recently heard a discussion on telly where the fathers were saying they take their daughters into the ladies room and wait for them inside because it is not safe to take them into the mens room. Now what the hell, that amazes me that they feel they can’t take them into the mens room even when they are with them and why the hell do they think it is acceptable from them to enter a ladies room. Are there so many dangerous, predatory males? And how do we make it better?

marinelife's avatar

Having a relationship with a 14-year-old is definitely not normal. They don’t have the emotional maturity to be a true partner. By having sex with them, you are warping them for life. The women are usually in positions of authority (teacher-student) over the child, which is another violation.

I definitely think the penalties for women should equal those for men.

As to the comments, you have to think of those as throwaways because she was attractive, not as actual desire to be violated by young boys.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I would say, abuse is exactly the same for boys and girls. If you abuse a boy, it will upset them and traumatize them just as much as if you abuse a girl.

However, it is much harder to abuse a boy, if he is 14, and you are female. When I was 9 years old, I started getting erections from time to time, by the age of 10 I was hanging out with more and more girls, and by the time i was 11–12, I was obsessed with trying to have sex with someone. Stealing porn from magazine shops and friends older brothers and fathers, and masturbating daily.

If a teacher had came alone when I was 14, and had sex with me. Not only would I totally deny it if she were ever found out, but would have been glad, even if she was an incredibly ugly beast-lady.

By the time I was 13–14, I was wondering what was wrong with me, that no girls wanted to have sex with me. I would go in to chat rooms, trying to pick up older women, because I thought 14 year old girls maybe did not want sex with me, cause they did not want any at all.

If a teacher would have had sex with me when I was 14, the only affect it would have had on me, is that I would have been more confident, and shown up for class a whole lot more.

lifeflame's avatar

A friend of mine had his first sexual experiences with his teacher at 13. He described it as a positive experience: i.e., “She taught me everything I needed to know about sex”
As far as I know, he seems to have no negative trauma associated with that experience at all. If anything it gave him a lot of confidence in dating, and he eventually settled down to a happy marriage. I have no idea what the teacher was thinking or too many details of that relationship.

Hmm, I should ask him what he would think if he had a daughter (he doesn’t) who was having sex with her teacher at the age of 13… I have a feeling he would beat the crap out of the teacher.

In addition to the social slut vs. stud pressure/guilt given to young girls vs. young boys I also wonder if physically, it is more likely to be painful for a young girl than it is for a guy. I guess it depends on the nature of the relationship/molestation.

ninjacolin's avatar

I have no answers for you but maybe more questions:

Is an attractive, legitimately enticing (sexually) predator “better” than an ugly one who who might only victimize you through force?

I mean.. I have some pretty harsh memories of having my heart broken in the past but.. holy shit are they accompanied by some very pleasant imagery at the same time.

I haven’t been keeping count exactly, but from what I remember (and without doing any reserach) I would guess that most of the female predators out there have AT LEAST been somewhat easy on the eyes for me as a heterosexual male.

Abuse is abuse, but some abuse might simply have the quality of being aesthetically more appealing than some others?

ninjacolin's avatar

As for the youtube posts.. I dobut it’s a matter of it being simply a male/female predators/victims issue that some would respond about the aesthetic value of the predator. Rather, I think it’s a matter of the individual predator being either attractive or not to the general population.

If you look through a list of 1000 male predators, how many of them happen to have the features of Brad Pitt or Daniel Craig?

Paradox25's avatar

Maybe it’s because men can actually overpower their victims, and given that men aren’t objectified like women are, and likely aren’t considered to be as attractive as women are points that probably feed into the different attitudes that people have towards which gender certain crimes happen to. Would those Youtube comments be the same if the alleged perpetrator was an ugly fat woman? From what I’ve read though many males who were sexually abused, even by attractive women, suffer long lasting mental problems and trauma throughout their lives.

augustlan's avatar

It’s an interesting topic, and very complicated. While the teacher (or any adult) is wrong to have sexual relations with a child, the older child will often perceive it to be a consensual act. If the adult is very attractive (physically or otherwise), and the older child desires them, it doesn’t feel like abuse to the victim (even though it clearly is).

As a young child being sexually abused by my uncle, I was completely aware that he was wrong. As a 14 year old making out with a hot 24 year old guy, I was completely willing. It was only years later that I realized how wrong he was.

Unbroken's avatar

Thank you for this question. And the replies. I just happen to have no insight into it. I will think on this one.

tedd's avatar

I remember the Mary Kay Letourneau case. It was basically the same story, but in the mid 90’s. She was a 35 year old middle school teacher and had a sexual relationship with her 13 year old student, while she was married. She ended up having two of the boys children, and married him after she got out of prison… still married today.

Linda_Owl's avatar

It is WRONG for an adult to have sexual relations with a child, any way that you look at it! However, many teenage boys react differently from teenage girls. Far too many teenage boys seem to feel that they have ‘accomplished something’ if they manage to ‘score’ with a female teacher. Teenage girls, on the other hand, are looking for LOVE & so they are more vulnerable than are a lot of teenage boys. An adult male teacher can do a great deal of ‘emotional damage’ to a teenage girl – it can take years for a teenage girl to come to terms with this emotional damage & it can lead to permanent damage to the girl’s self-esteem & this can endanger all of her relationships in the future.

wundayatta's avatar

Most of the people here who are axiomatic about how wrong it is seem to be women. Perhaps that is because we picture ourselves in these situations, and when an older man has sex with a younger women, it is almost universally coercive. He is actually forcing her, either through psychological pressure or through physical force.

On the other hand, when an older woman does a boy, it is usually through persuasion, not force. And some of the time, it is the boy who is pushing the issue, not the woman. The boy feels a sense of control in these situations, whereas the girl in the analogous situation does not feel control. That makes a big difference.

My first sexual experience was with a girl who was older than me, but only by a year. However, in terms of experience, she was decades older. I later asked her why she did it, because we really had no relationship. She said, “you seemed to want it.”

Well, duh, but just because I wanted it never seemed to get me what I wanted before. I was just 17 and all she did was use her hand on me. It rocked my world. I was hoping she would take my virginity, but alas, that was not to be for a good many more years. In any case, it didn’t help me feel desirable or anything. It just seemed weird and inexplicable, but I would not say I had been raped and I certainly don’t think it was inappropriate.

There is something about the supposed power difference between people of vastly different ages, and there is a grave danger of coercion going on, but I don’t think that is always the case. I think that boys are often the ones pushing things alone, even if they are only 14. The women may lack judgment in letting the boys have their way, but that doesn’t make them predators. I think it is a mistake to make the analogy from girls to boys. Just because girls are being used at that age, doesn’t mean boys are.

ninjacolin's avatar

what a “dirty” topic! I bet way more people have thoughts and opinions to share than we will ever know. There’s such a stigma to this discussion that people shy away from it and I’m sure we’ll never be able to explore it fully as a result.

On a related note, I expect that girls are generally reared with more sexual stigma than boys are in a lot of our societies. Girls have always seemed to get more blame for and/or protection from sex and sex concepts. It’s like they’re not “allowed” to ever fully develop the same sort of appreciation or lust that boys, on the other hand, are expected to. And again, I think this is a societal/cultural thing. I would think it plays a part in the whole coercion vs control factor that you suggested, @wundayatta.

I assume it affects everyone involved from the Victim to the Victim’s sympathizers to the Predators. I wonder if girls are made to feel more like a victim than boys generally are.. at the same time, I realize that times change and there may be a lot less of that going around than before, but as with any sexism issue, I would bet it isn’t completely gone at this point.

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