GENDER ISSUES FROM A MALE PERSPECTIVE

Gathered together are a number of articles related to how men and boys are treated by society and the media. The articles, for the most part, concentrate on misandry, domestic violence and female violence and reflect an anti-RADICAL FEMINIST viewpoint. Although articles are pro-male, they are not anti-female.

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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Monday, October 10, 2005

WHAT'S BEHIND TEACHER-STUDENT SEX?

Several cases involving alleged or proven sex between female teachers and male students have been hitting front pages across the nation.

It all seemed to begin with Mary Kay Letourneau. The Seattle teacher served seven years in prison for molesting a sixth-grade student. That relationship eventually produced two children. Letourneau and the now 22-year-old were recently married.

Unlike Letourneau, Pamela Turner, a Tennessee gym teacher, pleaded no contest to having sex with a 13-year-old student and is serving a nine-month sentence that resulted from a plea deal.

Sandra "Beth" Geisel, a former New York Catholic high school English teacher out on bail on statutory rape charges involving a 16-year-old student, was arrested Friday for alleged drunk driving. The Albany-area mother of four is the wife of a bank president.

And in Florida, middle school teacher Debra Lafave, has offered an insanity plea for her alleged affair with a 14-year-old boy.

What's behind the seeming spate of teacher-student sex?

Lafave's ex-husband, Owen Lafave, discusses it with co-anchor Julie Chen on The Early Show Monday, along with Dr. Julia Hislop, a clinical psychologist and author of the book "Female Sex Offenders."

Lafave says his ex-wife has never told him why she (allegedly) did it "and that's one of the hardest things that I've had to go through, is that I've never received a reason why."

He says he had "no idea" anything was going on "and hindsight is 20-20. I can look back now and see some things that were peculiar about her behavior. But I had no idea anything like this was going on."Hislop observes that there probably aren't more cases of teacher-student sex of this type these days than there used to be; it's more likely that there are just more being reported.

Why are women finding themselves in these types of relationships?

"One of the more common findings," Hislop explains, "is that they tend to have fairly severe sexual abuse histories themselves. That won't be the case with every woman, but (it's) a fairly common finding. They also tend to have mental health difficulties, not generally severe mental illnesses, but things along the lines of depression, anxiety, sometimes drug or alcohol problems or personality problems.

Asked about the insanity defense his ex-wife plans to use, Lafave told Chen, "With insanity, the burden of proof is on the defense. They have to prove that she didn't know what she was doing was wrong.

"However, in her particular case, she was being treated for depression, she was being treated for anxiety, as well as an eating disorder. So a lot of the characteristics that the doctor just described did fit her.

"(But), I mean, I think we've all heard the audiotapes and we can all draw our own conclusions. But it sounded like she knew what was she was doing was inappropriate and wrong."

Hislop says there are numerous signs parents can pick up on that a relationship of this sort might be developing.

"The dynamics," she points out, "can run the gamut between very violent assaults, just as with a male offender, and things that progressively cross boundaries. So, when teachers or other female grownups are progressively crossing boundaries, engaging in more and more inappropriate touch, more and more alone time with the children, are bringing up sexual material or personal disclosures into conversations with kids, those would be warning signs.

"Usually, when those warning signs are there, however, the person isn't a sex offender, but the progression can go in that direction from the mildly to more increasingly inappropriate interactions."

Lafave says the 15-year prison sentence Debra could get if convicted is "excessive," but some jail time is in order.

Hislop agrees, saying, "I don't know this case particularly. I have not been involved with the case. But the women who've done these things to children put them in high-risk situations and at high-risk for emotional difficulty, and certainly just as with males, some degree of punishment is probably indicated if guilt is found. Also, they tend to have a great deal of treatment needs. So, a combination of the two."

August 22, 2005
SOURCE: CBS NEWS http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/22/earlyshow/printable789087.shtml

1 Comments:

Anonymous Cathy Cary said...

Informative!

7:25 PM  

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