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Teacher/ Lover Sexual Crimes

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Teacher/Lover Sexual Crimes

Across Canada and the rest of the developed world, there seems to be an increasing amount of older women having sex with teenage boys. It is not that there are that many more of them, but they have caught the attention of the media in recent years, and in turn the public. These "criminals" are being sentenced to years behind bars because they have crossed an imaginary age line. In reality, all these women have done is attempt to have a decent, loving, mutual relationship. These women are not the criminals they are made out to be; they should not be sent to jail. This problem is not only occurring in Canada and the United States, but in virtually every developed nation across the globe. Teacher/Lover relationships are not exclusive to us and there is a media frenzy wherever it takes place. There have been trials in Canada and the USA, Great Britain, and many other European nations. The consensual age varies from as low as 13 to as high as 18, with some Middle Eastern countries making all sex illegal unless the two people involved are married. Some self-report studies reveal that 44% to 60% of young adult males have been sexually victimized by women. (Fritz et al., 1981; Johnson and Shrier, 1987) In all of these countries, the women are dealt with harshly, and end up with prison sentences.

The courts have established an age when an older person is allowed to have a sexual relationship with a younger person. This age varies from country to country and state to state. Do the people inhabiting these various countries develop at different rates? I think not. These ages are supposed to represent what the majority of the people of the specific country believe is the age of responsibility and independent choice. This age, however, is often just a representation of what the current political party in power thinks. Even if it were, the average citizen knows nothing about human development and an embarrassingly small amount about the justice system. They are in no position to have an informed opinion. And so, having a set age created by uninformed politicians, in my opinion, renders this age insignificant. Often the age of the "victim" is within eight to 10 years of their "assailant" anyways.

A 36 year old teacher from Ontario was recently charged with having sex with a 17 year old student. It is legal to have sex in Canada once a person reaches the age of 14, however; the teacher has been charged because she was in a position of authority. No one can argue that a 17 year old does not have the mental capacity to choose whether or not to have sex.

In Australia, Karen Louise Ellis was sentenced to 22 months in jail for having sex with her 15-year-old student, at her house while her husband was away. this woman obviously has some sort of mental or emotional problems that need to be dealt with. Prison won't help her, it will only amplify the problems she already has. It is punishment enough that her husband will be divorcing her and she'll never get another job teaching. I feel mandatory counselling would have been much more beneficial.

In Tampa, Florida, a 23 year old woman named Debra Lafave made headlines when she was charged for having sex with her 14 year old student. The former model suffers from bipolar disorder. An insanity plea was entered by her lawyer John Fitzgibbons. He said, "To place an attractive young woman in that kind of hell hole is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions, I'm not sure she would survive." For once the judge got it right and sentenced her to three years of house arrest and seven years probation.

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