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Coddling Cougars

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Saltwater tears bitter her tongue as she swallows her pride to hear the verdict. Her eyes fixate on the anigre wooden desk as the judge explains the stipulations of the conviction. Covered in legal documents and a tissue box, her body is calm and lightweight. But once escorted to her holding cell, dewy tears create a lucent sheath around the fine lines of her face as she walks towards an inevitable demise.

This is my perception of Brittany Zamora's adjudication for child molestation. A double standard arises in the criminal justice system, where one's culpability and sense of awareness are dependent on gender stereotypes. Sexual offenders like Brittany Zamora are fetishized and praised for their sexual conquest of young boys; thus, the reason for tropes and names like Mrs. Robinson, MILF, or cougar. Having a sexual relationship with an older woman is idolized as a badge of honor instead of punished for its developmental repercussions.

I want to understand the factors that shape a sexual personality, but there is no consensus. Biologists believe it's the body, psychologists claim it's the mind, and sociologists blame society.

Based on 17 samples from 12 countries, a meta-analysis conducted by Cortoni, Babchisin, & Rat (2017) discovered 2.2% of sexual offenses reported to the police are committed by females. However, victimization survey results revealed female sexual offenses to be six times higher than official data (11.6%).

"Police and the courts should recognize that while not as widespread as male sexual offending, female sexual offending cannot be minimized as an aberration with little or no consequences for victims or society. To do so is to deem victims of sexual abuse at the hand of female sexual offenders to be unimportant and less deserving of criminal justice attention than victims of male sexual offenders" (Cortoni et al. 2017).

Thus, when will Me Too involve men too?


12 News. (2019, July 11). A predator in the classroom: The Brittany Zamora story from 12 News [Video]. YouTube.

Cortoni, F., Babchishin, K. M., & Rat, C. (2017). The proportion of sexual offenders who are female is higher than thought: A meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44(2), 145-162

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