Gender Bias in Sex Crime Reporting

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    • #54976 Reply
      Michael McKay
      Michael McKay

      By Michael McKay . . . Minors cannot legally consent to sex, ever. Not with adults, not with each other, and especially not with their teachers, who a
      [See the full post at: Gender Bias in Sex Crime Reporting]

    • #54981 Reply
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      Amy

      I respectfully disagree with the premise of this article. While you provide many examples of headlines, I can counter every example with a counter news article that shows women charged with rape, sodomy and other charges that aren’t romantized whatsoever. Many of the headlines– both male and female– use terms such an inappropriate relationship to denote that these were not instances of forcible sex but instead a statutory offense. If anything, I would counter to say that women in such cases are often described as having mental defect while when are conversationally pardoned because, “have you seen teen girls today?”

      • #55099 Reply
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        Kevin

        You have got to be kidding. If you can’t see what he is talking about I guess it proves the authors point.

      • #55176 Reply
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        d

        Hi Amy,
        Look at the sentences for the offenders and you will see all the evidence that you need of sexual bias. I have seen many cases of completely identical situations were the man gets 20+ years and the woman get probation or a few years and probation this is very common. See for your self I would post links but we cannot do that on here.

      • #56525 Reply
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        Tim

        @AMY,
        I agree completely regarding the treatment of female sex aggressors. Mental deficiencies or defects are most overtly embedded differently and more severely in females. That truth resides in women’s perceptions of other women sexual nature. A sexually overt ( behaviorally) women suffers much more from society from convictions! I’ve NO (0), doubt there!
        However ironic it may seem, the additional trauma is coming from your own gender and associated ” norms. ” Believe or not, women have always been the modus of social mobility (upward or downward) among the people. The wives of leaders play a huge role in setting those expectations!

        I wish I’d have gotten to post this sooner.

    • #55011 Reply
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      So Tired Of It

      Society puts a different spin on sexual activity with under age children when the woman is the perpetrator. Just look at the recent article in USA Today about the teacher who admitted to having sex with 3 boys. She did not even have to register. How the is that equal??

    • #55025 Reply
      Charlie
      Charlie
      Moderator

      Hi Michael, this pattern is very obvious to those who care to see it. Those who don’t may be unaware of the social conditioning that allows such bias in the first case. For those if us who have encountered the trend, it’s not so subtle. In part it is likely due to the way in which rape has been “understood” by certain socio-politcal groups or interests. You see, for a very long time, rape has been defined as an absolute focus on power, violence, aggression…which of course are all components of most rape. But, statutory rape is something else altogether. It’s an act of ego, poorly developed, under-differentiated, or otherwise deficient, a need for attendance, and other psychodynamically relevant options. It’s a boundary issue that allows emmeshment with others. But I’m digressing. Since, for decades rape has been defined as violence, and men are pigeonholed as the violent gender, an illogical but natural assumption seems to be that men rape for violence…always, being natural predators, and women seduce for romantic or connectivity reasons. Of course, this is more of a belief system than a true scientific parsing. Your bottom line conclusion is most correct, rape vs seduction, etc is universally held to be a male / female difference, and is bunk. Violence may look different when committed by a typical male than by a typical female, but it’s still violence. The same is true for selfish seduction of a teen or child. Gender is only relevant when it’s not male, because it denies the underlying bias in our society that denies women can be so violent, unemotional, or self-centered. After all, if we challenge the tenets of motherhood, maternal instincts and all that is women in our society, no one is universally safe. For the naysayers, it is a message that will be rejected based on belief. For those who are dealing with aftermaths of rape, regardless of what you might call it, the common threads are not so cut and dry. Besides, there is something voyeuristically exciting about reading about boys who have a “Mrs Robinson” experiences, and equally exciting about the “horrors” of male sexual violence. Headlines do sell the product after all.

    • #55026 Reply
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      Ed C

      To determine whether or not this article is accurate would require a lot of research. However, I think everyone would agree that gender stereotypes and biases exist in our society. Boys are studs. Girls are sluts. Female virgins are valued. Male virginity is not an issue. Men who prefer much younger women are predators or “dirty old men.” Women are “cougars,” and not “dirty old women.” Women are weak, men are strong, etc., etc, ad nauseam. It should surprise no one if those attitudes were to appear in news reporting or court proceedings.

      Some of the “double standard” may have biological and evolutionary origins. If the object of the evolutionary exercise is to pass on one’s genetic material, female virgin biases make sense. When a woman gets pregnant, she is 100% certain that 1/2 of the child’s DNA is hers. Men don’t have that level of certainty, and must depend upon trust. It is not surprising that societies have, almost universally, developed social mechanisms and biases to increase that trust. Some may point out that we now have DNA testing that is quite accurate. While true, that knowledge can’t replace evolutionary imperatives through reasoning. Also, I suspect women would be put off if husbands started demanding routine DNA tests.

      The article is interesting but, as demonstrated by the first two posts, it is also polarizing and a diversion from the real fight. That is to reform sex offense laws. Although prosecution and sentencing gender bias might present some constitutional equal protection issues, arguing that is a legal long shot. Let’s not divide ourselves along gender lines.

    • #55052 Reply
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      Timothy

      There most certainly is gender bias. Those differences are cultural. Men and women define “attack” differently. Men are less likely culturally to admit vulnerabilities to attack. Thus men act differently and define successful attacks less often. Women on the other hand feel attacks in a more vulnerable way and complain about much technically less aggressive advances in behavioral terms. A pinched\slapped breast or butt equates differently depending on context AND gender roles ( as culturally defined)

      Too suggest women’s role in leadership hasn’t played a huge role in the rise of the nanny state ignores a plain political reality. Men outnumber women on the SORs, and civilly committed, yet social access to youngsters is vastly in favor on women, per traditional gender roles.

    • #55063 Reply
      Michael McKay
      Michael McKay

      I would just like to say that my intent in writing this article was most certainly NOT to divide anyone along gender lines, nor was it a call to make sentencing for either gender harsher or more lenient. My intent was to shine a light on how the news media shapes public opinion be using pejorative language in one case, and exculpatory language in the other, despite them being the SAME EXACT CRIME.

      Yes, our mission is to reform sexual offense laws. In order to do that, we need to educate and persuade the public. That job becomes an order of magnitude harder if the news media continues hyping, skewing, and misrepresenting the facts about sexual offenses. One way we can hold them accountable for these practices is by calling them on it when they do it.

      Again, it isn’t whataboutism or dividing people along gender lines. It’s about holding the news media accountable for reporting the facts about sexual offenses without injecting their biases (political, economic, gender, race, religious, whatever) into the headlines. I would hope we can all agree that that is a worthy goal.

      • #55072 Reply
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        Ed C

        Michael, I certainly didn’t mean to imply any intent. I was just observing the result, and hoping our energy doesn’t get diverted from the real issues. I admit that I tend to agree with the article’s premise, although I have no hard data to support that impression. I merely have an opinion, perhaps bolstered by confirmation bias.

        I agree totally that we need to counter ignorance in the media, entertainment industry, etc. However, it is very important to have hard data when doing so. The implied burden of proof falls on those who dispute existing widespread false impressions. Personally, I intend to focus on areas where supporting data are overwhelming, such as recidivism and public danger.

        I’m still not certain how to respond to an outrageous early scene in the movie “Shot Caller.” When a probation officer (PO) arrived, he was told by a policeman that a “sex offender” was holding a 14-year-old girl in his house. When the PO knocked and called out the man’s name, three shots came through the door, hitting him in the vest. The PO heroically kicked down the door and shot the offender, while a girl was screeching off-screen. Given the facts we all know, that is virtually a zero probability scenario. It would be great to bombard the director with feedback.

        • #55476 Reply
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          wrongfully registered person

          Yes this is a big problem for RSOs’ it makes my blood boil when I see this crap in movies and TV. It is as if they are defaming the character of 95% of the sex offender registrants and possibly the biggest creator of fear in the public. Help RSO boycott this director!

      • #56529 Reply
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        Tim

        @Mike,
        You ( we) must persuade the women! The men will certainly follow! Ever been to “ladies night?” IMHO, the founders did not relieve ” the female population” of voting rights because they thought women unworthy OR unable or incapable of leading. They chose so for far more chivalrous and intimate understandings. Those reasons involved WAR, which used to be fought MAN TO MAN, and not with push button toys! The potential limit on WAR MONGERING BY UNCONSCIOUS LEADERS, was the loss of loved ones ( casulties) if overused via war would result in leadership’s collapse of popularity!

        Ask any coalition of women with children on the registry. I know quite a few who’s child barely escaped the fate( SOR) BY PLEA!.

    • #55076 Reply
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      d

      Do not let the powers that be keep changing the definitions of words or you will all wake up one day no longer free. The big gun here is Rape = forced sex or sex without consent. Consent that is not accepted by the government as actual government approved consent does not = Rape in reality. I cannot stress the importance of these thing enough. It diminishes the pain of the people who have been actually raped and increases the stigma of those who had permission from the person. I do not want to call men, or woman who had sex with under aged people rapists because they are not! This used to be sex, then it became statutory rape, now they want to call it rape I say NO! I have lived long enough to watch the words change, and I know that there is a motivation that makes these changes and it does not care about the kids. Look at the “victims” of these two very different crimes and tell anyone with a straight face that this word covers both instances. There are cases of the “victim” of underage consensual sex marrying the “criminal” when they get out of prison. As for bias I agree 100% that here is a horrible bias in regards to sexuality between men and women. 15 min of research and you can find 25 cases of it in head lines.

    • #55374 Reply
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      Kerry

      Very well written and of course many correct examples of media bias. Most of these articles in the news are simply click bait. Shock is the intent, not reform or betterment of society.

    • #56170 Reply
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      Flossy73

      Yet, I am a woman and Inised to be a high school teacher and I had sex with a student and I didn’t benefit from this bias. I didn’t get off easy easy. No one held back from calling me a rapist and a 1000 other worse things. I’m a just as “registered” as the next guy. I too must slog my way through the daily humiliation and ostracism of life after a felony sex offense. Because I’m a “sex offender,” my husband and child experience the same collateral consequences as the families of the men labeled “sex offenders” do. There are female ex-teachers, like myself, who support the work of NARSOL. I for one consider myself on equal ground with anyone who has been forced to register. Please don’t imply that my life is any less ruined than any one else who is on the registry because I’m a female and used to be a teacher so you assume I received the kid glove treatment. Let’s not divide ourselves because of labels that media may or may not have slapped on any one of us. Isn’t this all about fighting against the very concept of being labeled?

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