In U.S. schools last year, nearly 800 employees were prosecuted for sexual assault – and almost a third of them were women. Now, law enforcement plans to crack down on inappropriate relationships between female teachers who sexually abuse underage male students.
Last week, a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that poked fun at a fictional relationship between a male student and his female high school teacher drew a flurry of negative backlash on social media. The sketch proved that teachers who prey on students is no laughing matter – regardless of gender.
"Law enforcement is increasingly feminized, and women are much less prone to the old attitude: 'Oh, this is just some kid who got lucky,'" David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, told Reuters Tuesday. "They recognize the issues involved and they go after women who violate the statutes."
Male victims often experience a number of negative symptoms following an inappropriate relationship with an older female education – including depression, low self-esteem and difficulty maintaining future relationships.
The aggressive crackdown on sexual assault against male students is the result of two “seismic shifts,” Christopher Anderson, executive director of Male Survivor, the largest U.S. advocacy organization for male sex crime victims.
"One is a recognition that it does not matter who the perpetrator is or what the circumstances are. A teacher has absolutely no business engaging in sexual contact with a student," Anderson explained to Reuters. "The second is a shift in the culture where boys and their parents are feeling empowered to come forward to say that something has been done."
Currently, there is no reporting system within the United States to track and identify female teachers found guilty of assaulting or harassing male students, but school districts are working toward banning private social media contact between teachers and students.