Recent Awareness Of Female Sex Offenders

While most of the attention on sex crimes focus on men as the abusers, recently, there is an increased awareness of female sex offenders, including right here in Texoma.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers talks with an expert in the area to try and better understand these women and the similarities and differences between them and male sex offenders.

Just last month, a Wichita Falls mother claimed she walked in on a 30 year old woman in bed with her eleven year old son.

Cynthia Ann Ross lived in the boy's apartment complex and is now faced with charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14.

Many find this surprising, as sex offending has long been viewed within society as a male-only crime.

While men are typically the sexual abuser, the FBI reports of all sex crimes committed across the country, adult females make up about seven percent.

"What comes to my mind has to do with genetic and brain chemistry make up, physical make-up. Men are stronger than women physically and they can use more force to get what they want," licensed sex offender treatment provider Ron Burks said.

Women are typically stereotyped as nurturing, caretaking individuals who, by nature, are unlikely to engage in aggressive or harmful behaviors toward others.

So, what motivates these women to engage in such indecent behavior?

Burks said during his 20 years of practicing he's only treated three female sex offenders.

He says while each case is unique, female sex offenders can have similar characteristics to males.

"It's got to be a combination of our brain chemistry of our upbrining of the manner in which we were treated by our parents and or other people by our past history it's also influenced heavily by drugs and alcohol and mental illness it's also influenced significantly by anger and rage responses. It's a multi-faceted process," Burks said.

Like many of the highly-publicized cases, one of Burks clients was a teacher who took advantage of a young male student.

"Has to do with self esteem has to do with some type of regressive behavior to some degree where instead of functioning like an adult female, and making adult female decisions, she regressed back to a bit of an adolescent," Burks said.

He said she was having marital problems.

Difficulties in intimate relationships can often lead to women seeking attention from anyone who will give it too them.

What they view as a romantic or sexually mentoring relationship often times turns into an illegal crime with a minor.

While some women are driven by the absence of an intimate relationship, others are coerced by male partners to commit sex crimes.

They fear abandonment and are pressured to act, often times, against their own children.

In a recent study female sex offenders who were accompanied by a man were more likely to have multiple young victims, abuse males and females, target family members and be charged with other non-sex crimes at the same time the sex offense occurred.

"Another element in how these things develop. By chance, by accident, by experience, something was done to them," Burks said.

Histories of incestuous sexual victimization, psychological difficulties and deviant sexual fantasies are common among solo-female sex offenders.

Burks said this was the case for another one of his clients.

She had personality disorders and had been sexually abused by a number of people growing up.

"Sometimes not even about sex or sexuality but about anger and rage and power and control. It just has a sexual component attached to it," he said.

One of Burks clients who acted alone was a babysitter who abused several children under her care.

"Sometime starts as an innocent exploration and becomes addiction to the point where they're driven just like a drug addict is driven. Their brain chemistry is hooked up to the sexual brain chemistry images," he said.

Because there is still significantly fewer female sex offenders than males, research is limited.

But just like sex offending doesn't discriminate in age, race or class, remember, it also doesn't discriminate in gender.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6.