Childhood sexual abuse is a subject that has received great awareness over the years.
Although the numerous stories that have surfaced in the media bring attention to this issue, it is also unfortunately heavily gender biased (Jamel, 2014). Often times, the childhood sexual abuse stories seen in the media, depict the male as the perverted perpetrator, while the same case can involve a female (as the perpetrator) and not receive much attention, or even be glorified at times. Furthermore, It has been proven that “the media portrayal of sexual offences has received limited attention and has predominantly focused on female victims (Jamel, 2014). It is this confusion surrounding CSA that leads many to think that a childhood sexual abuse crime can only be legitimate, if in fact it is done so by a male adult. In the article titled
Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim (
Dube, Anda, et. al , 2005
, results show that although there are more cases of CSA reported by females, the difference in comparison to the males is not a great deal. The results showed that approximately 25% of the reports were made by females while 16% were reported by males (Dube, Anda, et. al , 2005).
The shocking statistics provided in the article challenged my assumptions on childhood sexual abuse, mainly because it gave me a new perspective on childhood sexual abuse. Prior to reading this article I was guilty of viewing childhood sexual abuse as more of a male crime, and although
I was familiar of both males and females falling victims of childhood sexual abuse, I hadn’t realized how close in number the statistics were in comparison to the females. My assumptions were primarily due to what I had seen in the numerous media outlets. Often times when childhood sexual abuse crimes were brought to my attention they were predominantly male perpetrators, thus I had assumed that the issue was more prevalent with female victims, and much fewer with males. This general assumption is one that is strongly held by others, and is
often reinforced on numerous media outlets. For example, on casual blogs such as Listverse, the news reports on female sexual offenders is titled “ 10 shocking cases of female sexual predators”
, in this blog the writer admits that when he thinks of sexual predators, the first thing that usually comes to mind is male perpetrator, thus, the idea of a female attacker is both shocking and unusual (Damien B, 2014). On the online media outlets alone, numerous countdowns of the
Hottest female sexual offenders appear, with one blogger going as far as to say “
I don’t see anything wrong with female sex offenders. The only time where it would be wrong is if the boy is under the age of 12 or 13. Otherwise female sex offenders or female rapists are oxymorons”
(Tips by Big Dave, 2014). Often times the comments below these blog articles also share similar sentiments. In both blogs female sex offenders either came as a shock, or was not deemed an actual criminal offense. There is an obvious double standard that exists when discussing gender roles and sexual crimes, and although some suggest this is due to the lessons