The teacher abuse double standard

Originally posted on May 23, 2013

Teachers sexually abusing students has unfortunately become a normal news item in the last twenty years. Female teachers abusing male students garners the most media attention. That coverage may lead some to believe that women who abuse students face harsher sentences when convicted. However, it appears the opposite is true. According to a Star-Ledger investigation of 97 cases in New Jersey, male teachers are more often convicted and face longer sentences:

The data about 72 men and 25 women also shows:

  • Male defendants went to prison in 54 percent of cases compared with 44 percent of cases for female defendants;
  • Men averaged 2.4 years in prison compared with 1.6 years in prison for women, or 50 percent more time;
  • Ninety-three of the 97 cases ended in plea deals;
  • €…Forty-seven cases ended in noncustodial sentences, which typically involved pre-trial intervention programs or probation.

This comes as no surprise to anyone following the media coverage of these cases. As the paper noted: Continue reading