Dear MILFs: Shagging Your Students Is Still A Crime

Three female teachers were recently arrested for allegedly having sex with their students in completely unrelated cases. (They were all, coincidentally, located in the Tampa Bay area.) Stephanie Raguza, 28, is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy in her apartment and in the back seat of her Lexus. Mary Jo Spack, 45, is charged with having sex with a 17-year-old male student in a motel room where she and the guy's friends had been drinking together. And Lisa Marinelli. 40, allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old boy on 10 different occasions — mostly in her car. But are women who prey upon young males taken as seriously as men who have sex with underaged girls? Newsweek reports that some guys have a "high five" attitude about the cases: Banging the teacher is a well-established male fantasy. Val Halen wrote a song about it.

While morning radio is not exactly a bastion of morality, The Buckethead Show on a rock radio station has established a "school pool" — listeners win prizes for correctly guessing the site of the next sex scandal. The contest is promoted with the slogan: "We'll give you the cash for new school supplies and maybe some 'private tutoring' of your own ;-) ." Would a radio station ever get away with mocking a cases in which female students were the victims?

Among the evidence that resulted in the arrest of Ms. Marinelli were text messages to her victim. One read "How about a quickie 2 morrow afternoon :-)?" while another stated, "Ur car looks awesome! Al u need is a hot milf sittin next u and ud really b in business." Not appropriate communication between teacher and student, to be sure, and not just because "ur" ≠ "your." But honestly: Is it as creepy as if a 40-year-old man were writing to a 17-year-old cheerleader?

It's easy to think of situations where a 17-year-old dude would be psyched to get laid by an older woman. The term MILF and the plot of movies like Loverboy sum up the general thinking when it comes to the sexual psyche of teenage males. Gordon Finley, a psychologist and professor at Florida International University says, "Female sex predation is not a victimless crime. It is male victimization. They suffer to some degree the same consequences as female victims." But do we really believe it? Are these women — teachers who have overstepped extremely clear boundaries — taken seriously as criminals? And are the boys taken seriously as victims?

School Sex Scandals [Newsweek]