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Sex and Sex Discrimination


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Yesterday a 25 year old female teacher from Sheffield was found guilty of having sex with a 15 year old pupil. She confessed that she had seduced the pupil and then had a 19 month relationship with the boy. Judge Michael Stokes gave her a 12 month suspended sentence. This is in stark contrast to the way male teachers have been treated recently. In all cases they have gone to prison. Is this a case of sexual discrimination?

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I think it is. There was a case in Australia several months ago where a woman was sentenced to just a few months in jail for dating a student, then not long after, a male was imprisoned for 3 years, with the circumstances being extremely similar. Is this acceptable? I hate rapists and have no sympathy for them whatsoever, but if a male rapes a female, they face serious jail time, one rapist in Australia received upwards of 55 years in jail for rape. If a woman raped a man, would this be dismissed, or would she too, face jail?

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It seems to me the question one must ask is "what is the power imbalance?" In the cases John cites, the woman abused a teacher-pupil relationship, which was an abuse of power. However, was the power imbalance in this case the same as the power imbalance in the case of the male? I would say "no" - and it relates to the physical imbalance between males and females. In the first case, the female abused her power, but beyond the seductive nature I doubt there was any potential physical threat. In the second, the male may not have evinced any physical threat, but that threat was always present, simply because he is a male and larger and stronger than his victim. The difference in sentences seems justified on that basis.

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  • 1 month later...
Yesterday a 25 year old female teacher from Sheffield was found guilty of having sex with a 15 year old pupil. She confessed that she had seduced the pupil and then had a 19 month relationship with the boy. Judge Michael Stokes gave her a 12 month suspended sentence. This is in stark contrast to the way male teachers have been treated recently. In all cases they have gone to prison. Is this a case of sexual discrimination?

Educator sexual misconduct is addressed by several agencies and may not always go to court nor necessarily be reported to the police.

Schoolchildren are generally reluctant to press allegations of sexual misconduct which in many cases they will view as a 'relationship'.

The public interest can be the deciding factor as to whether or not a prosecution of a teacher allegedly involved in sexual relations with a pupil goes to trial.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4727537.stm

and

'But a source at the General Teaching Council has told Scotland on Sunday that "our own internal disciplinary procedures will decide his fate" and that they "will not take into account the council's report or any evidence collected by police".' Sun 31 Jul 2005

http://news.scotsman.com/aberdeen.cfm?id=1707722005

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