Glenn Sacks Oprah Magazine: Female Teachers Who Have Sex with Students Are Misguided Poor Souls Looking for Love… 2008-08-27 at 4:26 pm · Filed under blog "Sex with students is bad, but why should it be the case that for women it's a case of 'poor boundaries' and for men it's hardcore brutal predation of the most evil sort?"
Jay, a reader, recently wrote me a letter about an article in Oprah
magazine on the number of female teachers caught having sex with their students, such as Debra Lafave (pictured). The article is "Why Did the Teacher Have Sex With Her Student?"
My wife and I both had problems with the article, but it was interesting that we had two different problems. Here are some of the offending sentences:
"Most of these women, experts say, don't go into teaching with plans to seduce a child, the way a classic pedophile does; what leads to their downfall is emotional immaturity." "These teachers have a poor concept of boundaries, so they don't recognize when they've crossed the line into inappropriate behavior." "In a lot of these cases, the woman thinks she has fallen in love." "But most of these women come from conflict-ridden families where they didn't learn healthy social skills. Many learned to get their emotional needs—for love, attention, approval—met through sexual behavior."
None of the experts condone the teachers' actions, but they do have sympathy
. "I don't think she's a sexual predator," Schleicher says of Rogers. "I see her as a really hurting adult who needs help
. I just hope she can get it."
My wife sees this as reasons why we should have sympathy for the female teachers, and that what they are doing isn't really bad, just misguided.
To me, the article seems to be saying that the female teachers are somehow misguided poor souls who are just looking for love, and their fantasy world leads them to find love in the wrong places sometimes
However, the first quote makes it sound as if women don't plan to seduce children, but men are "classic pedophiles" who want sex with children, and they've decided that becoming a teacher is a great way to get access. It's rather insulting to all the male teachers out there.
Of the male teachers who do have sex with students, couldn't it be possible that they think they're in love also? Sex with students is bad, but why should it be the case that for women it's a case of poor boundaries and for men it's hardcore brutal predation of the most evil sort?
Now that I think of it, it's also insulting to women. Isn't the article really saying that women just have no self control or self awareness? She can't help herself. She got caught up in the fantasy. She's just emotionally immature.
The article mentions one woman who is serving an eight year sentence. Is that comparable to the sentences men get? Is there even a way to estimate the average sentence for teachers who have sex with students?
About that woman, the magazine writes:
An impending divorce helped push 27-year-old Pamela Rogers into getting intimate with her 13-year-old student in 2004, says Joan Schleicher, a Nashville forensic psychologist who testified in court on her behalf. "She was demoralized and feeling empty inside, and he was the one to whom she could turn her attention."
As the relationship progressed, Rogers (a former homecoming queen now serving an eight-year sentence) began, as many of these women do, to live in a world of "magical thinking,"
Schleicher says. "And she responded to that instead of the rules of society"...
"I don't think she's a sexual predator," Schleicher says of Rogers. "I see her as a really hurting adult who needs help. I just hope she can get it."
I've previously stated that I think that some of the current statutory rape laws are draconian. I think it's ludicrous that a 19-year-old boy can go to prison for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. However, a 27-year-old with a 13-year-old...well, that's different.