Female Sex Crimes: Society's Last Taboo

Gender myths, unreported cases allow problem to persist unchecked
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 6:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – A mother’s love is supposed to be sacred, which may explain why Britain is struggling to face up to child molestation at the hands of women, Charlotte Philby writes in the Independent. Stats are hard to come by, but one UK abuse organization says 11% of callers in 2004—more than 8,600 people—complained of abuse by a woman. "I dread to think of the true scale of the problem," says one psychologist.

Detection is difficult, because most incidents occur in the home, and some victims talk of being “brainwashed” into believing their abuse was really parental love. What's more, cases of female perpetrators are rarely noticed or believed as society focuses on male pedophiles. "If I'd had just the smallest impression that I'd be believed," says one alleged victim, "I might have had the guts to come forward."