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Sex Crimes: Not Just for Men Anymore

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The emphasis of most discussions regarding sex crimes usually rests with male offenders. This makes a lot of sense since most estimates suggest that men are much more likely to engage in sex crimes. Yet, a new blog is doing a great job at chronicling the female sex offender (particularly female school teachers). While some may find the political commentary at the website one-sided, it's worth a read by anyone with an interest in sex crimes. One of frequent comments made by readers there is whether there is a double standard in our criminal justice system when it comes to female sex offenders. I have heard the argument that perhaps there should be a double standard since sex between adult women and adolescent boys doesn't appear linked with long-term psychological harm. But those claims fail to acknowledge that psychological research regarding long-term psychological harm from adult child sex is mired with methodological limitations. A very controversial study years ago suggested that available data showed little long-term psychological harm from adult-child sex in general. That study, however, used a research methodology called meta-analysis that has significant limitations itself.

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With respect to women engaging in sexual activity with boys vis a vis men engaging in sexual activity with girls, there are two differences:

1) the boys cannot get pregnant

2) there is far less likely the possibility that there is physical coercion.

I don't know what that means from a punishment perspective.

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