Thursday, September 3, 2009
Kay L. Levine (Emory University School of Law) has posted an interesting manuscript, When Gender Meets Sex: An Exploratory Study of Women Who Seduce Adolescent Boys (William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 15, Issue 2, 2009), on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article describes the origins, design, and implications of a new study exploring female-perpetrated statutory rape against adolescent boys in the United States. In contrast to both legal frameworks, which typically regard statutory rape as a male-on-female phenomenon, and existing literature from the fields of pyschology and psychiatry derived from clinical samples and sex offender registries, This study examines the incidence of female-perpetrated statutory rape using data from electronic news reports covering the period 1990-2008. In this short article, the author explains the advantages of her approach over those taken by prior scholars, in terms of the size of the data set and the scope of coverage, as well as her decision to focus on statutory rape exclusively, rather than on female sex abuse more generally. The article also discusses the projected implications of the study for understanding not only the crime of statutory rape but also the gender assumptions implicit in conventional works on this topic.
While Levine is still analyzing her data, some of her initial suggestions are intriguing. For example, she thinks the data will run counter to the view that these cases are typically "romance stories"--a view usually rejected in the case of male perpetrator/female victim and potentially harmful to male victims in the less common cases she studies.