Most of those who complain about indifference by the public toward most female sexual offenders assume that it is the offender's gender which makes the difference and that women will excuse their own.
The more I listen to what people say about a variety of cases, the clearer it is that this assumption is wrong. The double standard is caused by the very same rape myths which causes the blaming of female victims and the excusing of "good" accused male rapists.
As long as most male rapists and sexual abusers escape justice the same will happen for the female perpetrators.
Often the judgments people make when deciding who is a real sexual abuser and who simply made an error in judgment come down to general character attributes and stereotypes about those attributes.
An exploiter who is considered crass but who commits the same acts will likely get more punishment than his or her nicer counterpart.
Those perpetrators who come across as sincere in stating they and the victim had a mutual and consensual relationship are going to be given lighter treatment, be they male or female. When female teachers try to explain away their criminal responsibility, they are giving us a window into the rationalizations used by men who sexually exploit girls.
At the top of the list is the insistence that there was no intent to harm the other person.
If the victim seems sexually mature and the adult seems sexually immature, either because of their actions or because of our perceptions, there's a temptation to create an artificial equality in the interaction and to dismiss the reality of crimes which happened and to increase the level of victim blaming.
Just as female teachers say that it was the student who sent out the non-verbal invitation, men who exploit girls do the same thing when they are caught often in a much cruder way such as calling a girl a tease.
Like military recruiters who have sex with girls who want to join the military, female teachers can pretend that their position doesn't give them power which can be used to exploit others.
Fortunately in recent years more people are recognizing this non-violent sexual exploitation for what it is and not excusing it for any reason or for any gender.
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