If there was one American cultural meme we didn't need to export, it would be the recent surge in reported cases of women sexually abusing children. While, as a feminist, I am all for equality in almost every circumstance, I don't feel that it's necessary to extend the hypersexualization of girls to boys, or for women to catch up to men in terms of engaging in pedophilia or statutory rape. Be that as it may, while some on this side of the Atlantic are tittering over the relative hotness of the latest rape-y schoolteacher and papers all over the world have been covering the abusive dormitory monitor at Oprah's school for girls in South Africa, 40 percent of school-age boys in the country report being forced to have sex before the age of 18, mostly by female perpetrators. Ugh.Unsurprisingly, rapes were more common in poorer communities than richer and committed by people known to the victims more often than not. Nearly thirty percent of victims were assaulted by their fellow students, while 20 percent were assaulted by teachers and another 20 percent were assaulted by family members. The remaining 30 percent were assaulted by non-family members who weren't teachers. Neil Andersson and Ari Ho-Foster, who co-authored the study, rightly point out that the sheer volume of sexual abuse is likely to multiply given that children who are abused are more likely to become abusers — and, in fact, 10% of the victims in the study admit to also being perpetrators. They also suggest that the actual rate of abuse might be much higher given the continuing stigma associated with rape. One thing they don't delve into is how much the rate of assaults today has to do with the rate of assaults in previous generations — is this a multi-generational problem now multiplied by the sheer number of adult victims? Is the onset of widespread abuse associated with a specific period of time or has this been acceptable behavior for generations of schoolboys? It's hard to say. Until 2007, raping a boy was not classified as a rape but as an "indecent assault," a legal change that the authors applaud. They additionally note that decreasing the rape of young boys could pay serious dividends in reducing the rate of HIV infection in South Africa, which then makes one consider the possibility that older people are preying on too-young children in order to satisfy sexual urges without fear of disease. How is is even possible that using a condom has less of a stigma than raping a child? South African Epidemic Of Schoolboy Sexual Abuse [Science Daily] Oprah School Abuse Trial Starts [BBC]