Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We can learn from the female teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with student

As I watched Debra LaFave (the Florida school teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student) on the news today after her plea deal was rejected by a Florida judge and the prosecutors dropped the charges in Marion County, I realized something.

Equality isn't always a good thing.

The solution to the imbalance between the number of male and female sexual abusers isn't to increase the number of female perpetrators until we reach parity. If this is what's happening, what to do, what to do?

Don't buy the excuses from men or from women. Don't minimize the harm based on the gender of the victim.

In essence Ms. LaFave said that "bipolar made me do it." That isn't truth no matter the state of her mental health, it's rationalization. And rationalization attempts to turn rape and sexual abuse into criminal-free crimes. If we buy into the premise that there is no criminal, the existence of the crime is undermined.

It also makes us feel powerless to prevent these types of crimes.

For those who say the boy was lucky to have sex with a hot teacher, I say you are feeding the rationalizations of those who choose to use.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 5:08 PM   3 comments links to this post


At March 21, 2006 11:51 PM, Blogger Holly Desimone said...

Hi abyss2hope,
Personally it was strange to see the disagreement around this case! I also don't buy excuses, are minimize the pain, harm to any victims of abuse. Thank you for the insight into this case. Interesting post to read, with a great comment about feeling helpless. How society feels about sex offenders, male and female seems to be different? Double standand possible, money, lawyers, and simply good tv! All the reasons why we need to speak up when cases like this play out in the media!
All the best Holly

At March 22, 2006 8:55 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


Thanks for your interesting comment.

This case definitely highlights the assumptions different people have about sexual contact between adults in positions of power and minors.

At March 22, 2006 11:07 PM, Blogger jay are said...

good points. The fact that so many guys say, "Wow, how lucky. I wish a hot teacher had seduced me" doesn't change the fact that the boy is still a victim.


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