What does it say about our society when we are only acknowledging the reality of female sexual perpetrators at the end of 2016?
As much as I detest the “it’s the current year” argument, I feel it is applicable in this instance. Despite all the progress made in victim advocacy in the last thirty years, we still hesitate to admit that women commit sexual violence. The hesitation comes in part from cultural norms about women’s capacity for violence, in part from assumptions about male victimization, and in part from a political movement that frames sexual violence as a “gendered” crime.
I have written numerous times about female sex offenders. While the topic receives less media and scholarly attention, there are plenty of studies showing the prevalence of female sexual perpetration. I previously noted that if one looks at these studies in chronological order, the reported rate of female perpetration, particularly against male victims, increases over time. The more we study the topic, the more obvious it becomes that not only do women commit sexual violence, but that they represent the majority of people who sexually assault men and boys.
As shown above, none of this information is new. I pieced it together without access to scholarly publications. Other advocates, men’s rights activists, and even feminists have done the same. The information is scattered and somewhat limited, yet it is not hard to find.
It is simply not discussed. Continue reading