Saturday, January 21, 2006

Another "Woman Teacher Does A Boy Student" Story

Either these are happening with more frequency lately, or they're just being reported more, or I'm just noticing them more.

Every time I hear one, I have these questions:

1. Is she hot?
2. Would I have been all up on that as a teenager?

The answer to the second question is probably "no" since all my teachers were old :-) But here we have a 26 year old teacher who knew the kid since he was 12, befriended his family, and started doing him when he turned 15? Ewwwwwwww.


Alexander Russo said...

sure, it seems like it's happening more, but apparently it's not:

Female Teachers Aren't Seducing More Boys -- Or Getting Lighter Sentences

Mike T said...

When I was 17yoa in HS, there was a new French teacher who was hot...and she was only 24 I think....but I would never be that lucky...I mean, I keep taking these sexual harassment classes the army requires and I still don't get harassed...I just can't figure it out! :)

Darren said...

Alexander Russo, you quote Slate as saying that women get off with lighter sentences than men because their offenses are "less vile". I read Slate's article and found their analysis "less than scholarly".

At first glance, the sentences look biased. The men got an average of more than 11 years; the women got less than two. But compare the crimes, and the story gets more complicated. Most of the men molested victims younger than 15; most of the women didn't.* Half the men molested multiple victims; only three of the women did. Ten men on the list had multiple victims, including victims younger than 16. These men earned an average sentence of more than 17 years, drastically inflating the average.

So says Slate.

I wonder how the homosexual male teacher who sleeps with boys would be punished. Put him in bed with 1 (one) 16-year-old boy. What do you think would be the legal outcome? This might present quite the conundrum: He slept with a male (better to sleep with boys than with girls, apparently), slept with only 1, and the kid is 16. Hmmmmm.

I'm sticking with the double standard story.

Lillian said...

My question is if the California Teachers Association or the NEA will be involved in getting this (and other female) teachers off the hook?
I'd love to know how and why these teachers get off with such light sentences...male or female.
Since teachers unions promote issues of sex, i.e., same sex marriage, it would seem to me that they would race to the aid of a teacher who is 'knockin' the boots' with the kids.
I hope I'm wrong, but somehow I don't think so...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Miller, that's gross! I remember in 7th grade that most of my friends had taken a liking into my Science teacher, for she had a big chest. She had a student teacher who was younger, and a friend of mine actually hit on her. It was pretty gross.

About the teacher, is she desparate or something? Or was the boy rich.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Miller, where do you find these articles? That's pretty gross.

Darren said...

I hadn't considered the "rich boy" angle, but the story gives no reason to believe she was in it for anything other than the sex. Which makes me wonder what a 15 year old boy could *possibly* offer her?

Yes, it's pretty gross.

TangoMan said...

I think that this type of thing, oldsters hitting on youngsters, rare as it is, has always gone on right under our noses. The fact that what's hitting the news is that teachers are involved is what's changing, in that there is the violation of trust and that actually breaks the law. Back in the day, adults who had authority over us were not our buddies or our peers, but people who stood on a whole other realm. Those boundaries have, to a large part, been shattered.

We know, from an evolutionary perspective, why older men are attracted to teen-age girls - that hasn't changed and you can get a good hint by looking at rape statistics - a woman older than 29 has less chance of being raped than a girl under 11. 60% of rapes are for women under the age of 18 while 6% (that's not a typo) are for women over 29. Clearly the attraction to pre-pubescent children is a pyschological illness and serves no evolutionary purpose - the wires are crossed on these guys. However, things are not so clear cut for 15-18 year old girls. Society tries to enforce a veneer of social restraint on these liasons but it's only a veneer, except where the law intervenes for authority figures. Of course, any adult man who actually talks to a teenage girl is likely to have his delusions shattered so that might be one reason we see a disproportionate degree of rapes versus relationships in the under-18 + older man category - guys acting on sexual impulse but couldn't stand listening to a teenage girl on a daily basis. (This isn't anything against teenage girls, just speaking to the life-interests mismatch between teenagers and adults long past their youth.) It would be interesting to study the convicted rapists to see if they actually interacted with teenagers or they had illusions about them from afar.

The case of these women teachers is somewhat odd in that women are not usually attracted to proto-men with no-job prospects, no sophistication, half-formed social and verbal skills, etc. So, what's attracting them to these relationships? Could be things like exercising power in this "relationship" that they don't get to exercise with adult men, or perhaps they are excited by the "teaching" aspect, or it could be the attraction to youth.

We also need to keep in mind that what we're reading in the news are the results of these failed "relationships" and we don't know how frequent the non-reported relationships are. These are obviously kept secret more successfully than the failed relationships. Now, they're either kept secret through coercion or because both parties are satisfied by whatever they're getting out the relationship. It's hard to guess how effective the coercion aspect would be but I don't think that's too common because once the coercion ends, which could be years later, the victim could report the perpetrator. We don't get too many of these delayed reports so I suspect that there exist relationships that are satisfactory to both parties.

Now, the interesting question is why these relationships develop. It could be something as simple as the atomization of society, the splintered bonds of family with families scattered all over the continent and this could lead to social isolation and reaching out into whatever communities that are available. If the likely community is the school environment, then that's where the trouble starts. If you asked these teachers why they chose students rather than fellow teachers I wonder how many would opine on the administative policies which discourage relationships at work. Crazy, I know, but people have an amazing ability to engage in convoluted thinking. Or we could see this as an outcome from the fetishization of youth in our popular culture. Lastly, the weakened boundaries surrounding authority figures like teachers, which serve both students and teachers, could contribute to boundary violations.

Does any of this sound plausible?

allen said...

I doubt it's the rich boy angle either. I remember reading a few years back something about a racial component in these cases because many of the female teacher/male student affairs tended to be white females and minority boys (typically hispanic or black). It may have been simple statistics, since white females dominate teaching, and the younger ones would likely be found more often in lower income districts than older teachers, but it was still interesting in that there seemed to be little interest in exploring this.

Darren said...

TangoMan, after everything you wrote I find my comment here to seem marginally inadequate, but here goes: what you wrote makes *perfect* sense. Personally I stick to the "power" and "fetishization of youth" theories more than the "lowered boundaries" theory.

And Allen, I hadn't considered the race angle. Yet everyone's favorite pedophile, Mary Kay LeTourneau (I might have misspelled her name), was doing a Pacific Islander boy.

Anonymous said...

must be his greasy skin and day old smell of doritos then

TangoMan said...


What's your impression of how kids relate to teachers these days? I remember when I was a kid that we were much more respectful to teachers, didn't relate to them on the same level, and basically our worlds didn't intersect. The impression I get from today's kids is that those boundaries are much more relaxed, that the level of respect for age and authority has diminished, that teachers reach out more to kids in terms of friendship, that kids feel much more comfortable in lipping off, arguing back and such, much as they would with their own friends. I do concede though, that my sample size for these observations is quite limited, so seeing how you're in the thick of things, what say you?

If this holds true, this is what I meant about boundaries eroding and with low boundaries comes easier trangressions because friendships can form, and those friendships can easily transform into something else. If the boundaries are high, then the opportunity for temptation never presents itself, it never takes root.

Darren said...

There is more familiarity than in days past, no doubt about it. However, I doubt that it's the students who are making the first overtures in these cases--although I could be wrong.

Within Set A (the human race) there is Subset B (pedophiles and ephebophiles). That's the problem.

But back to familiarity. It's not uncommon for students to refer to teachers, amongst themselves as "X" as opposed to "Mr. X." When they forget and address me as X, the next word out of my mouth is "Mister", accompanied by that teacher look. Some colleagues think I'm either stuck on myself or overly strict, but I'm neither. I'm merely reinforcing a *small* dividing line that helps reinforce authority.