Are there women pedophiles?

This is a topic that many people do not want to discuss. It is something that is often so difficult to mention that even when people do talk about it they add the caveat that “mostly men are pedophiles.” Rarely is that based on any factual information as most victims of sexual abuse, particularly of female abusers, do not report their abuse. Rather, it is an assumption based on people’s unwillingness to view women as sexual aggressors.  A recent article from the BBC addressed this issue:

Women can commit a wide range of sexual offences, [Steve Bevan] says, including rape. And their victims commonly experience sexual confusion and a fear of intimacy. Anger can manifest itself as violence towards a wife or girlfriend in later life.

By its very nature the true picture of child abuse is unclear. But with women perpetrators it’s even more so. Convictions are thin on the ground and some believe the issue is an unhelpful distraction from the bigger problem.

Experts agree that women commit only a fraction of child sexual abuse but so much is hidden that it’s difficult to be accurate. An influential study in the US in the 1980s suggested 20% of all offences against boys and 5% against girls were by women.

A 2005 study suggested that women are responsible for nearly 40% of rape and sexual assault against boys. The rate against girls went up only 1%, but one must wonder how much social views about women played a role in keeping girls and women from considering those acts as rape and sexual assault. The article addresses this point as well:

In 2005, the [National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children] raised concerns about how disbelief of female paedophiles was hindering detection. Its report said child protection professionals too often met allegations of abuse by females with incredulity, dismissing them as fabrication and allowing women to continue to offend.

It also said that victims suffered a peculiar sense of isolation and stigma because this form of abuse was not so widely recognised.

Eight-hundred victims of female sexual abuse have contacted Michele Elliott, founder of children’s charity Kidscape, since she wrote her controversial book, Female Sexual Abuse of Children, in 1992. Three-quarters of the cases feature women acting alone.

“One of the issues of controversy is the thinking that if women do this, it’s because men made them do it,” says Ms Elliot.

“I disagree with that. I think there’s no difference in the motivation between men and women, which is sexual gratification and power over a child. It’s very selfish.”

In her book, Elliott mentioned the myth that women act alone over and over again. There simply is no credible information that proves that women primarily abuse children only when a man forces them to, especially when one considers that the same researchers admit that most victims do not come forward. That notion seems to be based on the reported instances, most of which are cases where the women have been extended plea deals in exchange for their testimony. There is no telling how many of those cases were resulted from the police, prosecutors and psychologists buying into those women’s lies and those people ignoring the recollection of children who said the women were more involved or the primary abuser.

What is interesting is that the professionals opinion of the behavior of female pedophiles does not seem to match how the women actually think of themselves. The professional community tends to present female pedophiles as victims who genuinely do care about the children the rape. However, one of the hallmarks of pedophile behavior is the assumption that the abuse is not abuse, that the pedophile actually cares for or loves the victim. They rationalize their actions as not as bad as other offenders. Unsurprisingly, female pedophiles do the same thing, except they compare themselves to men:

Like male paedophiles, many female offenders convince themselves they are not harming children, says psychologist Sharon Lambert who this month presented her research on the subject to the British Psychological Society’s annual conference.

She contacted a number of people through a website specifically aimed at women. There were no indecent images posted but there were stories and poems about their sexual fantasies with children and a forum for women to discuss their feelings and how they could avoid detection.

“They would say they’re not as bad as men because they’re more loving with their impulses, and a male involved with a child is more abusive.”

The article goes on to mention that some female pedophiles might be victims of abuse. A male survivor recounts what his abusive mother told him about her past:

Unlike Ms Lambert’s studies, some perpetrators seem also to be victims. Colin’s mother told him she was a victim of sexual abuse from her father, sometimes describing it to him in detail moments before indecently assaulting him.

“Maybe I reminded her of her dad and she felt like she was getting back at him, taking back some control that way, by taking it out on me,” says Colin.

In my experience, it seems to be the case that most abusive people abuse for two reasons: the victim reminds them of themselves or of their abusers. This is not an excuse, particularly when it comes to women as they have a host of resources available to them to help them address their emotional needs. However, in regards to female abusers, it seems to lean more towards the latter, with the only similarity between the victim and the abuser being the victim’s gender. A male, any male, tends to be good enough. That is not to say that female victims are not being abused for the same horribly twisted logic, only that this tends to be more blatantly obvious when it comes to male victims.

As more victims come forward, we will learn more about female pedophiles. Judging from the comments left below the article, it would seem that the majority do not even match the conclusions mentioned in the piece, particularly the claim that women raping prepubescent children is extremely rare. It is unfortunate, however, it is most likely true that women commit as much, and possibly more, sexual violence against children as men. The 40% abuse rate is pretty high, and that at point one must stop portraying sexual violence against boys and men as something only other men do. There also needs to be a greater recognition of female-on-female sexual violence. Besides the the failure to address and acknowledge rape against males, the sexual violence support community has wholly ignored and downplayed female-on-female assault to the point that one would be hard-pressed to find it mentioned in any of the literature.

At this stage, there is no excuse for not acknowledging that women are just as capable and apparently just as likely to rape and sexually abuse children.

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37 thoughts on “Are there women pedophiles?

  1. TS,

    There are more current studies that have been done (if you want the .pdf research studies let me know I can send them) on this topic and you already know that my site covers this topic.

    One of the studies on my site is by a feminist researcher and she looks at mother/daughter sexual abuse. She stated:

    Ignoring women’s capacity for sexual violence only succeeds in ostracizing survivors of female-perpetrated sexual abuse. If you type in mother/daughter sexual abuse II on my site you can read the entire thing.

    In June I have a post about this same article scheduled to post as well as some more research studies and their findings.

    Thank you for discussing a topic not many want to honestly talk about.

  2. I look forward to reading that post. I suspect that more research is being done given how more women are being charged, convicted and some receiving tough sentences for rape. What surprises most is that the researchers still seem willing to claim that female rapists are rare despite their research demonstrating the opposite. There is the unwillingness to admit that women commit more sexual violence that anyone assumes, and it seems like people throw out comments like, “Men make up 90% of rapists” as a kind of security blanket .

  3. Professor Kevin Browne, who has been researching the maltreatment of children for 30 years, says between 5% and 10% of abuse against pre-pubescent children in the UK is committed by females, but only about 5% is thought to involve a woman acting alone.

    I thought this myth of women being unwilling accomplices had died. This is the first time I’ve heard it in years.

    Severly doubt this man’s professionalism as a consequence.

    I commented on Sacks’ blog that regardless of absolute accuracy the BBC created a discussion that brought very little of the shaming and minimising that normally accompanies these pieces.

    It may be that their moderation controlled this but either way they managed to create a scenario in which victims felt comfortable talking.

  4. Unfortunately, the myth that women primarily abuse only when men are present and force them to is still present. It was mentioned in most of the articles I read about Melissa Huckaby.

    I would imagine that the BBC, given the recent increase in coverage about this problem, would not want anyone coming to the site and seeing hundreds of comments minimizing the abuse or mocking the victims. That element does seem to be changing more and more, although many media outlets still refer to female sex offenses as “trysts” and “affairs.”

  5. TS –

    You may be interested in reading Osamu Dazai’s “No Longer Human.” The book is semi-autobiographical, and was particularly interesting to me for the narrator’s allusions to sexual abuse perpetrated against him by a female servant throughout his young childhood. The implication is that the abuse profoundly shaped both the narrator’s and the author’s personas for the rest of their (respective) unhappy lives. This book is a rare example of the depiction of female pedophilia in literature in a strictly non-fetishized fashion.

  6. Hey TS. Off topic but have you seen the following Australian study?

    Deductive thematic analysis of a female paedophilia website.

    I’m pretty sure the site the study analyses is the now hidden away Butterfly Kisses.

    I’d dearly like to see the whole study. It seemed to be taking on all the myths about female perpetrators one at a time and doing a good job of shattering each and every one of them.

    I’ve put out some feelers so expect a copy if I can get the whole thing.

  7. you would think on a society so bent on equality, that it would be the same for abuse.
    In the mean time i will continue to teach my children that men and women are equal and the rules are the same for both and maybe by time they are adults the world will see it that way too. Keeping abuse by females under the covers only hurts everybody as most Male offenders have been abused by women… and thus continues the cycle.

  8. i heard on the radio just toay about a female teacher having sex with a student. students laugh about it and say they knew it was going on. if te situation were reveresed ( male teacer female student) everyone would be disgusted and hed be barred,

  9. Josh, thats what most males say at your age but ten years later almost all these kids regret it.

  10. Really, Josh? You would be all for having a woman in that age range?

    And let’s say this hypothetical woman threatened you with harm or was going to tell everyone that you raped her if you didn’t comply with her seduction? Would you picture the experience as positive anyway in the end?

    With all due respect, you’ve got a lot to learn. But you’re only fourteen so I don’t blame you for not knowing.

  11. Im 18 and Ill I be perfectly frank. I understand were josh is coming from and its very simple to explain, hormones. He is down for sex which is what the hormones make him want. Its just a fantasy to him now, but in real life things dont tend to be as you fantize them to be. Women and men who take advantage of others for sex are unforgivable.
    The 20 – 40 year old woman does aproach a 14 year old because of any romantic notions of love, its about control and power. Even if josh consented he isnt in the right mind to make decisions like that. Thats why we have age of consent laws, because hormone crazed teens dont make good decisions, I know this personally.

  12. hello, i was chatting about a year with a female pedophile, i can give the chat logs to a researcher who’s interested in the subject.

  13. @toysoldier, I forwarded everything I had to the fbi, was even interviewed and gave all my screennames, but they haven’t done much with this, she still on the net. maybe not enough evidence don’t know
    but this could be very usefull for researchers or profilers

  14. Lisa, the FBi handles hundreds of cases, so it takes time for them to investigate. If you send information to anyone other than law enforcement you can actually be charged with libel offense if there is not enough evidence to prove that the person has committed a crime.

  15. @ Toysoldier, you seem to know much about how the fbi is handling such cases,
    I have some pertinent questions about this case. Can you contact me?

  16. Lisa, information about how the FBI handles these cases is listed on their website. Again, if you have information concerning a person who may be abusing children, I am not the person to tell that information to. You need to give that to the police, and keep reporting it if they do not respond fast enough.

  17. I am a male, 28. I know all too well that female offenders are as likely as males, having been used by both. The first female offender was my mother(also an abuse victim)at age 5-10. I was so young I hardly remember much of the abuse, but the thing I remember clearly is that it was a punishment(or that is what I was told by my mother). it was as aggressive as any male abuse I was put through. but my mother was not the only female offender I came across, I ran into several that worked for the state. some were not as aggressive some were.
    The fact is male or female does not matter. Sex offenders come in all sexes and races,and as far as I have seen one is just as likely as another.

  18. Mark no one said its good, and there are both men and wouman phedophiles, but what i find werse is that when phedophile wants to rape a child it coud be controled like move to a diferent location or have consencual sex with a grown up instead, if a person is a phedophile it doesnt mean he or she must folow there urges we are not animals, and i believe sexual desires coud be controled or fought with . but most phedophiles are to weak to understand that what they are doing is terrible or they just think there plesure is more important then anything else.

  19. It never occurred to me that society wouldnt see female and male offenders differently. I have recently been in the process of pressing charges on my female councelor from 11 yrs ago and who had a relationship with me for 6 years. now as an adult I not only have figured out that a) im not a lesbian *not that there is anything wrong with those that are and b) that the relationship shouldnt have happened and that the manipulation that occurred to make me believe her has caused almost the same amount of damage as the acts its self. I am now concerned about this all happening but i am happy to show the world, and her, that it is wrong and i am not ok with it.

  20. Silhouette, I am glad you came forward. I hope that the case goes forward. I do not know where you are from, but hopefully you will not bump into any statute limitation issues.

  21. there is no biologic loopholes besides sexuality that makes men and women different, refusal to recognize the brain is the same in both bodies is what makes sex interesting .witch is why they invest so much time trying to look mentally different!

  22. yes. there are women who are sex offenders that get awawy free. my ex wife is one alonge with her sister . this country needs to get reael with this issuie. females do the same thing , if it is not fixed then we need to KILL THEM ALL.

  23. Jeremy, killing sex offenders will not stop more from acting. We cannot kill them all, and every sex offender will not re-offend. I understand the anger, but we have to be more practical about it. If we kill sex offenders, that might make people who have not offended yet and may want help keep it to themselves.

  24. I am very pleased to see the feminist lie challenged. I personally have known of many female and male pedos throughout my 49 years. I will focus on the females here because male abusers quite rightly get a lot of publicity and revulsion. A 23 yo woman I once worked with was known to offer prepubescent boys cash in return for sexual favours. (As far as I know) no action was taken against her. Two middle-aged sisters I know well, both of them spinsters, are reknowned for “chatting up” young teenage boys. I have overheard some of their remarks and they are quite vulgar. People who know these women tend to “give them a fools pardon”. They are the joke of the neighbourhood. I have known similar instances in which the genders wre reversed.: adult men who “chat up” young girls. In such cases there is no “fools pardon”. The mens behaviour is not regarded as a joke. Instead they are ostrasized sometimes violently within their neighbourhood. I am stressing here the double standard of society. We need to view sexually inappropriate conduct as inacceptable regardless of the gender. It may (or may not) well be that more males are pedophiles. Thankfully however the overwhelming of men and women are not pedophiles or sexual predators of any kind. Those who are should be treated by the same law, with the same measuring line. On a closing note while it is good to see that the female pedophiles who have been hiding behind a feminist myth are beginnign to be exposed. we must beware of discimination swinging the other way. It would be in every way as unacceptable for women to be wrongly labelled as being potential pedophiles in which men have tended to be. BTW I was abused as a child by a male nurse. When I informed the ward Sister she slapped me hard across the face and told me not to tell lies. I suspect that the Sister did not not believe that that happenned to boys.

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  27. Where were these women when I was growing up?? It was always my fantasy to be seduced by an older woman! Just being honest here guys, but you really have to be a male to fully grasp this simple concept. Males see no downside to sex, period. Even if she was an aggressive woman who, “demanded sex or else”, the male wouldn’t even contemplate the “or else” part because they would be too excited about the sex! To a male, it’s not some horrific traumatizing event that messes up you’re psyche, it’s the ultimate fantasy coming true. When it’s over, the male never mentions it again, but remembers it and likely in an erotically satisfying way. Males are simple when it comes to sex and often don’t even need to mix emotions with the act. Simple as that. They are programmed to want sex 24/7, so when it shows up on their doorstep, they aren’t gonna fight it. lol I mean, pedophilia IS wrong, but I’m just being honest here. Women don’t seem to understand just how central sexual gratification is within the male psyche.

  28. John, I am male. All my friends are male. I am around many men and boys all the time. A fantasy is just that: a fantasy. Reality is much different, and most men do not want someone to force them into sex. Likewise, most men and boys are not driven by sex. Playing into the “men want sex all the time” trope is a really bad argument for condoning child rape.

  29. Pingback: When women sexually abuse | Toy Soldiers

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  32. DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    BETWEEN:
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    and
    GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC

    NOTICE OF HEARING

    THE INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS, pursuant to section 26, subsection (5) of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 (the “Act”), Statutes of Ontario, 1996, chapter 12, has directed that the matter hereinafter described regarding the conduct or actions of Gordana Anne Stefulic, Certificate No176236 , be referred to the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Teachers.

    IT IS ALLEGED that Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct as defined in subsections 30(2) and 40(1.1) of the Act in that:
    (a) she failed to maintain the standards of the profession, contrary to Ontario
    Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(5);

    (b) she abused a student or students physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(7) and engaged in sexual abuse of a student or students of a nature defined in sections 1 and 40 (1.1) of the Act;

    (c) she failed to comply with the Education Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, chapter E.2, and specifically section 264(1)(c) thereof or the Regulations made under that Act, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(15);

    (d) she committed acts that having regard to all the circumstances would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1 and

    (e) she engaged in conduct unbecoming a Member, contrary to Ontario Regulation
    437/97, subsection 1(19).

    PARTICULARS OF THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    1. Gordana Anne Stefulic (the “Member”) is a member of the Ontario College of
    Teachers.
    2. At all material times, the Member was employed by the Toronto District School Board
    (the “Board”) as a Principal at [XX] School (the “School”) in Ontario.

    3. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member granted and/or permitted Student No. 1
    and Student No. 2, two male students of the Board under the age of sixteen years, entry
    and/or access to her Facebook page and by so doing, allowed Student No. 1 and Student
    No. 2 to access inappropriate and/or view material including:

    (a) A photographic image of a male person without a shirt, wearing a Speedo bathing suit and titled, “Meal of the Day”;
    (b) A drawing showing a naked woman depicting her breasts and a naked man holding a string which was tied to his well endowed penis.
    4. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member,

    (a) permitted a student and/or students to have access to a personal laptop computer which she knew or ought to have known contained images of a pornographic nature or erotic nature, which appeared to depict young adolescent males;
    (b) permitted a student and/or students to have access to the classroom computer which she knew or ought to have known contained pornographic images and/or violent cartoon images and/or images of naked bodies;
    (c) requested and/or allowed Student No. 3, Student No. 4 and Student No. 5, male students, to give her a massage; and
    (d) made no efforts to deter or prevent a student and/or students from seeking to massage her back.
    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL HOLD A HEARING pursuant to sections 30 and 32 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, to decide whether the allegations are true and whether Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct. A copy of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee will be provided upon request.

    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL MEET on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to set a date for the hearing of this matter. The Committee will meet on the 12th floor of the offices of the Ontario College of Teachers at 101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

    YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE PRESENT ON THE ABOVE MENTIONED DATE AND AT THE HEARING AND TO BE REPRESENTED BY LEGAL COUNSEL.

    If you wish, you or your legal counsel may contact College Counsel to discuss the scheduling of a hearing date to determine whether a date for the hearing can be agreed upon. If a date for the hearing can be agreed to, in accordance with Rule 4.02(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee, the hearing will proceed on the agreed date.

    IF A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER IS NOT AGREED UPON AND YOU DO NOT ATTEND TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING. NOTICE OF THE HEARING DATE WILL BE PROVIDED TO YOU IN WRITING AT YOUR LAST KNOWN ADDRESS AS SHOWN IN THE RECORDS OF THE COLLEGE.

    IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND ON THE SCHEDULED HEARING DATE, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE AND YOU WILL NOT BE PROVIDED WITH ANY FURTHER NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS.

    IF THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE FIND YOU GUILTY of professional misconduct, you are liable to the penalties set out in section 30 of the Act.

    A MEMBER whose conduct is being investigated in proceedings before the Discipline Committee may examine before the hearing any written or documentary evidence that will be produced or any report, the contents of which will be given as evidence at the hearing. You or your representative may contact the office of Caroline Zayid of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, solicitor for the College in this matter, at Suite 5300, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1E6, telephone 416-601-
    7768.

    Date: January 14,2013

    Michael Salvatori, OCT
    Registrar and Chief Executive Officer
    Ontario College of Teachers
    12th Floor, 101 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON M5S 0A1

    TO: Gordana Anne Stefulic
    [XX] [XX]

    AND TO: Calderoni Steer Wanderon McTavish & Smith LLP
    2 Sheppard Ave E
    North York ON M2N 5Y7
    Dale Stump, Solicitor for the
    Member

    B E T W E E N :
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS – and – GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC
    DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    NOTICE OF HEARING
    McCarthy Tétrault LLP
    Suite 5300
    Toronto Dominion Bank Tower
    Toronto, ON M5K 1E6

    Caroline R. Zayid
    Tel. 416 601-7768
    Fax 416 868-0673

    David E. Leonard
    Tel. 416 601-7684
    Fax 416 868-0673

    Solicitors for the
    Ontario College of Teachers

    #12685381

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