Sexual Abuse by Females
Nicholas J. Kovats wrote:
Walter, I thought of you immediately. Can you help? I do not have or
remember the U.S. reference. Kind regards to you both...Nick
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 21:30:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Myles Fudge <email@example.com>
To: "Nicholas J. Kovats" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Email Archive <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: MEET DR. BRUCK AND ASSOC. RE: FALSE MEMORY AND CHILDREN
Nick, would you please qualify this statement from the message you sent out:
| Indications that Large Scale Abuse Does Not Occur
| female child molesters are extremely rare.
I thought that a recent US study indicated that females commit 25% of sexual
assault. How does that make female child sexual molesters "extremely
"Daddy" to Joshua (3 1/2), and estranged stepfather to Jonathan (11)
I'm a bit confused (I don't recall reading the original message that Myles is referring
to). It seems to me that the statement that Myles objects to wasn't yours, but
rather one contained in an article that you posted. Is that impression correct?
As to the frequency of sexual abuse by women (of boys), it isn't as rare as claimed in
the statement. Because no absolute figures are contained in the statement, it is not
possible to determine what is meant by the dimension of "rare." However, a
number of references to studies that were done on the subject are contained in Frederick
Invisible Boy: Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens",
by Frederick Mathews, Ph.D., (March 1996, Health Canada), which contains a
number of references to, and quotes information from, a good number of studies
that were done on the subject.
References to the studies can be found in the sections "Sexual Abuse" in
chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 contains a section that specifically addresses
percentages of boys victimized by females. The following quotes the paragraph
containing that information.
The percentage of women and teenage girl perpetrators recorded in case report studies
is small and ranges from 3%-10% (Kendall-Tackett and Simon,
1987; McCarty, 1986; Schultz and Jones, 1983; Wasserman and Kappel, 1985). When
the victim is male, female perpetrators account for 1%-24%
of abusers. When the victim is female, female perpetrators account for 6%-17% of
abusers (American Humane Association, 1981; Finkelhor and Russell, 1984; and Finkelhor et
al., 1990). In the Ontario Incidence Study, 10% of sexual abuse investigations involved
female perpetrators (Trocmé, 1995). However, in six studies reviewed by Russell and Finkelhor, female perpetrators accounted for 25% or more of abusers. Ramsay-Klawsnik
(1990a) found that adult females were abusers of males 37% of the time, female adolescents
19% of the time. Both of these rates are higher than the same study reported for adult and
teen male abusers.
Here is another quote from the section "Dynamics of Female Perpetrated Abuse"
in chapter 2.
There is some evidence that females are more likely to be involved with co-abusers,
typically a male, though studies report a range from 25% - 77% (Faller, 1987; Kaufman et
al., 1995; McCarty, 1986). However, Mayer (1992), in a review of data on 17 adolescent
female sex offenders, found that only 2 were involved with male co-perpetrators. She also
found that the young women in this study knew their victims and that none experienced
legal consequences for their actions. [That brings to mind Karla Homulka --WHS]
Self-report studies provide a very different view of sexual abuse perpetration and
increase the number of female perpetrators substantially. In a retrospective study of male
victims, 60% reported being abused by females (Johnson and Shrier, 1987). The same rate
was found in a sample of college students (Fritz et al., 1981). In other studies of male
university and college students, rates of female perpetration were found at levels as high
as 72% - 82% (Fromuth and Burkhart, 1987, 1989; Seidner and Calhoun, 1984). Bell et al.,
(1991) found that 27% of males were abused by females. In some of these types of studies
females represent as much as 50% of sexual abusers (Risin and Koss, 1987). Knopp and
Lackey (1987) found that 51% of victims of female sexual abusers were male. It is evident
that case report and self-report studies yield very different types of data about
prevalence. These extraordinary differences tell us we need to start questioning all of
our assumptions about perpetrators and victims of child maltreatment.
Finally, there is an alarmingly high rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds
of rapists, sex offenders, and sexually aggressive men, 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984),
66% (Groth, 1979), and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993). A strong case for the need to
identify female perpetrators can be found in Table 4, which presents the findings from a
study of adolescent sex offenders by OBrien (1989). Male adolescent sex offenders
abused by females only chose female victims almost exclusively.
The report then shows a table depicting the implications of that last paragraph.
It is a shocker, although it doesn't permit any conclusions as to the frequency of
female-perpetrated abuse. However, it seems to me that Dr. Mathews made a
statement somewhere in the report (probably in the conclusion, but I don't have the time
to look for it), that female perpetrated sexual abuse of boys is most likely higher than
any of the studies have found. He urges that research be done to determine what
solutions may be applied to end the problem of the invisible boys.
I'm not aware of the contents of any specific American studies.
At any rate, it is obvious that the statement that female perpetrated sexual abuse is
rare is false. If common sense is applied and judging from my life-experiences, it
seems that serious and objective research will ultimately find that women perpetrate
sexual abuse somewhat more often than men do. It is people like Dr. Bruck who
prevent the research from being done.
If you want to get an eye-opener, visit a bar on women's night when male strippers are
on -- "Wehe wenn sie losgelassen!" (beware when they (women) are let
loose!). That is a popular adaptation of a phrase from Schiller's Song of the Bell,
an ode that draws an analogy between the might of fire and those of human
emotions. "Benevolent is the fire's might, if it is tamed and minded
by Man, but, beware when it's let loose." He then draws the analogy to
revolutions (during which it was women who showed themselves to be more
merciless and depraved than men). The phrase by Schiller has come to
mean that untamed women, unconstrained by social conventions, are every bit
as devastating as a conflagration. It's not the politically correct
view, but it's without a doubt
Schiller said (in 1798) in his ode, about the bell ringing in the revolution:
Freedom and Equality! one hears it sound,
The peaceful citizen is driven to arms,
The streets are filling, the halls,
The vigilante-bands are moving,
Then women change into hyenas
And make a plaything out of terror,
Still twitching, with panthers teeth,
They tear apart the enemy's heart.
Nothing is holy any longer, loosened
Are all ties of righteousness,
The good gives room to bad,
And all vices freely rule.
Dangerous it is to wake the lion,
Ruinous is the tigers tooth,
But the most terrible of all the terrors,
That is the mensch  when crazed.
Woe to those, who lend to the eternally-blind
Enlightenment's heavenly torch!
It does not shine for him, it only can ignite
And puts to ashes towns and lands.
Consider that society is giving women a virtually free hand these days to do with
impunity anything they want. It's an awful force let loose.
1999 06 04 mainly to incorporate the one verse from Schiller's Song of the Bell.
2001 01 31 (format changes)
2003 10 14 (updated link to The Invisible Boy)