Gender of the Perpetrator Has Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :



The first issue is the gender of the suspect. Research found if the suspect is a female she is les apt to be viewed as a predator, or a threat to children.

This can be noted in several recent cases in the United States in which attractive female teachers have been accused of having sexual relations with their young male students. Jokes abound regarding those cases about whether it was actually sexual abuse or a dream come true for the young men. Had the teacher been male and the victims female, society would not think it was a joking matter.

The study tested three theories:

Hypothesis 1: Female police officers will rate child sexual abuse as more serious than male officers, will take more severe police action than male officers and will view the impact on the child as being greater than will male officers (Tyson, 2004).

Hypothesis 2: Police officers will perceive male-perpetrated child sexual abuse as more serious than female-perpetrated abuse, will take more severe action in relation to male perpetrators, and the impact on the child will be perceived to be greater when the perpetrator is male (Tyson, 2004)."

Hypothesis 3: Male police officers will view male-perpetrated child sexual abuse more negatively than female-perpetrated abuse and female police will view female-perpetrated abuse more negatively than male police (Tyson, 2004)."

Conclusion

The study concluded that men and women law enforcement officials alike tend to react more harshly to male suspects than female suspects when it comes to child sexual abuse allegations.

When an attractive female is accused of sexual abuse against a male minor child the media designs clever names for the suspect that minimize the importance and seriousness of the crime she was accused of. If a man does the same crime against male children or female children the media deems him a monster.

Society follows the same pattern and police officers are simply members of society.

To affect change the media and society must begin to understand that sexual abuse of any child by a female is as serious and challenging as abuse by a male would be.

However, at this time in history officers investigating sex abuse crimes do not get as serious about prosecution if the perpetrator happens to be female.

This may be due to societal attitudes about male and female sexuality. It may have to do with the actions required for a male to rape a child as opposed to a female raping a child. The importance of this study relates to the need for training of police officers to help them overcome the bias they have against male sexual abusers over female abusers. If officers can be trained to treat each suspect with the same aggressiveness then victims will be more likely to come forward, even if their attacker was a female.

References

James, C. (2002, August 17). Church sex abuse inquiry. The Advertiser, 24.

The impact of perpetrator gender on male and female police officers' perceptions of child sexual abuse.(Australia)

Tyson, G.A. (2001) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Faulkner, N. (2002). Plea for children. Retrieved…

Sources Used in Document:

References

James, C. (2002, August 17). Church sex abuse inquiry. The Advertiser, 24.

The impact of perpetrator gender on male and female police officers' perceptions of child sexual abuse.(Australia)

Tyson, G.A. (2001) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Faulkner, N. (2002). Plea for children. Retrieved April 4, 2002, from http/ / www.prevent-abusenow.com/plea335.htm

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