Follow A year-old man who had sex with a year-old girl has just been jailed. It happened four times while he was employed as a school bus monitor. When you hear that statement, chances are you think of a vile sex offender — a man who abused his position of power, groomed his victim and per cent deserves his jail sentence. But what about when I tell you that I lied.
She was the older woman, and he was underage. As a society, we tend to view cases of male and female sex offenders differently. We say 'cor lucky him' Clinic psychologist Dr Jacquie Hetherton explains: When we hear about examples in the news, we think, maybe the child misinterpreted it? They feel used and abused. They might see the adolescent as responsible especially if they initiated it or seemed to enjoy it.
Anthony Beech, criminological psychology professor at the University of Birmingham, explains: They think they can have sex with anyone they want. What could have been going on in her mind?
She could be any one of us. Donald Findlater, director of research at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation , which researches sex abuse, estimates that 10 to 15 per cent of adults will have occasional sexual interest in a teenager. The immediacy that can be available from a text message or social media is making significant changes to all of our sex lives but certainly those of young professionals. They will be harmed It brings to mind the case of year-old teacher Emma Harfield who was banned from the classroom for life after sharing a bed with two schoolboys.
Similarly Vaughan contacted a student over Facebook. It shows a clear blurring of boundaries that's specific to our modern age. But Prof Beech suggests another reason for the rise in cases of female offenders could be a change in social behaviour: The only real solution is therapy. Most female sex offenders are characterised by emotional dependency, low self-esteem, poor self-identity and a fear of men. Our stereotypical attitudes towards female sex offenders allow them to continue offending — by not viewing them as serious criminals or excusing and justifying their behaviour, we create a culture where they can get away with their crimes.
Female sex offending is such a taboo area, but at the moment, we're giving women a lot more leeway.