This article was published in 2017, but the information it contains is so vital that I decided to republish it.
Yes, women can be and often are abusers of children and sometimes are not the warm, fuzzy people society would like them to be. It is time to open an honest dialogue about women sexual predators and how they harm our children.
Here is my republication of my article from November 2017.
Women Sexual Abusers of Children; The Silent Crisis
I realize just the title of this blog post will turn people away, they can’t or won’t read what I have to say on this subject.
However, the problem with sticking our head in the sand attitude is that a problem that is not acknowledged is not solvable. Any recovering alcoholic or drug addict will tell you, the first step in defeating a problem, is to admit that it exists.
Although It Is Hard, We Must End the Abuse of Our Children
I know, this is hard to talk about, but we must band together to find a way to end this hideous blight on our society.
Some might even be thinking, “What’s the problem with women molesting children anyway? Won’t the kids outgrow and forget what happened when they are older?
Surely women can’t harm children as much as men! I mean, they don’t have penises, so they can’t penetrate the girls or make the boys give them oral sex, so how much harm can they really be doing?”
Those beliefs, that children cannot be harmed by a woman sexual predator are not only alarming, but they are also universal. To make matters worse, there are many who refuse to believe that a mother would ever perform sex or request sex from their own children. Unfortunately, this last belief is the most damaging to children who are being harmed.
The Statistics of Female Child Predators are Staggering and Sobering
In the stats laden paragraph below we will examine the number of women perpetrators of sexual abuse in the United States.
While numbers are huge, they only based on the people who got caught and does not include the crimes where victims remained and still remain silent.
According to Stats of Victims of Child Sexual Abuse 14% of boys and 6% of girl victims of sexual abuse were abused by female perpetrators. Also, according to the website Child Molestation and Prevention: 1/20 men and 1/3300 women are child sexual predators.
Then, U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts, one can see that the total population of the US as of 2015 is 323,127,513 people. 63.3% were adults over the age of 18; 50.8% of the adult population of the US were female; 49.2% of the adult population of the US are male.
That means that in 2015, 164,148,777 adult women in the US and 158,978,736 adult men.
Statistically speaking, 49,742 women perpetrators of sexual abuse, usually against their own children.
The Smallest Victims of Sexual Violence by Women
Now we shall examine together the staggering number of girls and boys who are the victims of female predators.
The Child Data Center tables show that the number of children in the US in 2015 was 118,587,798 with 51% of these children being male 49% of these children being female.
Breaking it down by the numbers, there were 60,479,777 were little boys and 58,108,021 little girls.
From using the stats above we can calculate that in 2015, there was a real possibility that 3,682,786 little boys and 3,486,481 little girls were molested in 2015 by female predators.
That means there is a high probability that 49,742 women in the year 2015 were sexually abusing children, usually their own.
Adding the two figures together, 7,169,267 children of either sex are molested sexually, by a female perpetrator in 2015 in the United States alone.
Why Do Perpetrators Commit Acts of Sexual Violence Against Children
A high percentage of men who were studied were abused by female sexual predators and became abusers themselves.
In the journal The Future of Children in the summer/autumn edition of 1994, Princeton University reported on a research project they had conducted to summarize other papers to find the immediate and long-term impacts on children who are sexually abused. This resource found staggering information about the long-term effects of child molestation.
I quote their abstract and their findings below:
“Research conducted over the past decade indicates that a wide range of psychological and interpersonal problems are more prevalent among those who have been sexually abused than among individuals with no such experiences. Although a definitive causal relationship between such difficulties and sexual abuse cannot be established using current retrospective research methodologies, the aggregate of consistent findings in this literature has led many to conclude that childhood sexual abuse is a major risk factor for a variety of problems.
“This article summarizes what is currently known about these potential impacts of child sexual abuse.
“The various problems and symptoms described in the literature on child sexual abuse are reviewed in a series of broad categories including posttraumatic stress, cognitive distortions, emotional pain, avoidance, an impaired sense of self, and interpersonal difficulties.
“Research has demonstrated that the extent to which a given individual manifests abuse-related distress is a function of an undetermined number of abuse-specific variables, as well as individual and environmental factors that existed prior to, or occurred subsequent to, the incidents of sexual abuse.”
So, current research has found a direct link between men who grow up to become sexual predators and those who have been sexually molested in their own childhood by a female relative.
Findings suggested that female sex offenders had a high incidence of:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Severe mental health problems
- Learning disabilities
- Physical health problems
Furthermore, the presence of domestic violence in the home increased the likelihood of a female being listed as the primary perpetrator by almost two and a half times.
Female sexual offenders present as a group of people dealing with:
- Complex layers of trauma
There are also some conditions that exacerbate the problem, mainly centering around inappropriate boundary development for the woman and the child.
It is also true that a high percentage of women were abused by female sexual predators and became abusers themselves.
Female Sexual Predation Has Been Overlooked for Far Too Long
For far too long, people including law enforcement have been reluctant to discuss female predation against children. However, this is slowly changing.
A paper published in the Journal of Sexual Abuse in 2015, is part of the burgeoning movement to understand female predation.
Using research gathered from 2010, the paper struggles to identify the differences between male and female predators and why women often go undetected.
The researchers discovered that largely due to a failure of society to recognize women as offenders, the United States has allowed them to avoid detection, prosecution, and interventions such as tracking, offender registration and mandated treatment for sexual predators.
They also stated a possible reason:
“This [difference in treatment between male and female perpetrators] could be partially due to differences that exist in their offending behaviors, victim profiles, and personal characteristics that set them apart from male offenders, to whom our systems have become more attuned.”
When the researchers studied the data from Child Protective Services in the U.S., they found that slightly over 20% of substantiated child sexual abuse that was reported to authorities involved only a female perpetrator. That is one out of every five.
However, when the female perpetrator was not the only person involved but had a partner that number jumps to over 42%.
Women perpetrators also showed a distinct preference toward female victims over male, by 68% choosing to abuse their own daughters over others but not limited to only their daughters. Indeed, their findings indicated that female perpetrators were more likely to commit sexual crimes if they are the parent of the victim (77.8%).
That means that when the perpetrator was a biological parent, the data showed the researchers that the offender was over four and a half times more likely to be female.
The Effects from Childhood Sexual Trauma that Carry Into Adulthood
Adults who have experienced child sexual trauma grow up to have a myriad of emotional problems and relationship difficulties. Below I’ve outlined only a few of the effects adults experience directly a result of early childhood sexual trauma.
Self-Esteem issues. The survivor may feel a sense of hopelessness, helplessness and like they don’t belong in the world. They may have a deep sense that their birth was a mistake, and they should die. They may see themselves as unworthy of any good things, and either they will isolate away from others, or they will feel so needy they will be in one relationship after another.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This disorder cannot be pushed under the rug as unimportant. People who live with its effects can tell you it is misery. The things done to survivors when they are children CANNOT and WILL NOT be forgotten by them when they are adults. Perhaps they may have suppressed the memories of the molestation, but somewhere in their brain is burned the details of the emotions and feelings they felt while the perpetrator was harming them. These memories surface in nightmares, flashbacks, and dissociation.
Depression. People who have been sexually molested as children are four times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression. Depression is no joke, and it cannot be cured by just forcing themselves to get better. It is a serious and potentially deadly problem. The internal conflicts brought on by feelings of guilt and rage about their being sexually used by someone who was supposed to be their caregiver is enormous. If not treated, many will die by suicide.
Dissociative Disorders. These disorders include depersonalization, derealization, and at the far extreme of the spectrum, dissociative identity disorder. Living with a dissociative disorder is horrific. Many lose time, don’t remember important events and have a severely altered sense of identity.
Problems in relationships. Both men and women who were abused by women perpetrators suffer from isolation. Yes, they may have been married once or a dozen times, but because they lack the skills to relate to their partners, these relationships do not last. They sometimes prefer to be alone rather with other people, because they feel safer alone.
Anxiety Disorders. Because sexual abuse is threatening and disruptive, children often develop a sense of insecurity and don’t believe the world is a safe place. This belief system expresses itself in adulthood as anxiety. One is hyperalert and afraid of things that others don’t notice. This anxiety can manifest itself as panic attacks in adulthood. These overwhelming attacks make the person feel like they are going to die or that they have lost their mind.
Anger issues. Children who have been molested by their female caregivers may be left in adulthood with extreme anger issues. Although the person who harmed them may no longer be alive, the anger persists and can spill out into the survivor’s home and work life.
Child Molestation Not Only Exists, But It is Tragic
As you can clearly see, molestation by women not only exists, it is a tragic crime that leaves children hopeless to grow up to be neurotic and disturbed adults.
This is a tragedy that must stop. So long as we, as a society, continue to ignore the fact that women can and do indeed, harm children by sexually abusing them, this crime will go on and future generations will suffer.
Please, help the children. Stop child abuse in any form in its tracks by acting. If you see or suspect a child of being molested by either a man or a woman, DO NOT remain silent.
Speak up for that child’s safety.
If you are wrong and what you saw is innocent, then deal with that later. The welfare of that child is and should be your primary concern. You can apologize later.
The children of the United States are its future, and we will be judged by how we manage or don’t, this silent crisis.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.