One in Ten

Does America Believe Female Sexual Abusers Actually Exist?

April 01, 2022 National Children's Alliance / Caitlyn Muniz Season 4 Episode 5
One in Ten
Does America Believe Female Sexual Abusers Actually Exist?
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Does America believe female sexual abusers actually exist? When we think about child sexual abuse, don’t we automatically picture in our mind a father, a stepfather, a Boy Scout leader, a male neighbor, a coach, or a priest? Our minds go there for a very good reason, and that is that 97% of convicted sexual offenders are, in fact, male. But we know that female-perpetrated child sexual abuse does exist.

What are the sort of perceptions—and misperceptions—that abound around this? What are the myths that exist about female-perpetrated sexual abuse? And how do these perceptions differ depending on who the woman is? What if it’s an aunt, or female clergy, or even a teacher? Maybe, most interestingly, as you’ll hear, a teacher most of all. We know from research that the traumatic impacts of female-perpetrated abuse are real and long-lasting. Does the general public actually believe the same? And how do we address the biases around this that may prevent victims from being believed and helped? Take a listen to our interview with Dr. Caitlyn Muniz.

Topics in this episode:

  • Why research this topic (1:58)
  • The focus on teacher/student cases (3:59)
  • Effect of authority roles (6:21)
  • Research findings (10:27)
  • What the general public might think (20:00)
  • Disclosures and reactions (24:30)
  • Cultural biases harm victims (34:23)
  • Advice for child abuse professionals (41:19)
  • Future research (44:00)
  • Share the episode (47:16)

Links:

Caitlyn N. Muniz, Ph.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at The University of Texas at El Paso

The Influence of Authority Role and Victim Gender on Perceptions of Female-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse,” Caitlyn N. Muniz, Ráchael A Powers, Child Maltreatment, July 26, 2021

researchgate.net/profile/Caitlyn-Muniz

For more information about National Children’s Alliance and the work of Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit our website at NationalChildrensAlliance.org. Or visit our podcast website at OneInTenPodcast.org. And join us on Facebook at One in Ten podcast.

Support the show
Why research this topic
The focus on teacher/student cases
Effect of authority roles
Research findings
What the general public might think
Disclosures and reactions
Cultural biases harm victims
Advice for child abuse professionals
Future research
Share the episode