Strict penalty for pedophilia must be enforced for both genders to ensure true justice, equality
We, as citizens of the United States, do not agree with pedophilia and think it is a crime. For example, there was a case a couple of years ago in which a teacher got in trouble for having sexual relations with a student. Because of how inappropriate and illegal this situation was, the teacher was put on trial.
However, the teacher only received three years of house arrest and seven years of probation. This was very interesting, since this person broke the law — a law most people get very upset when it’s broken. But this person’s light sentence could have an explanation.
The teacher’s name was Debra Lafave. That’s right — a woman. A woman having sex with an underage boy is still illegal. Something to consider: If the tables were turned and an adult man was having sex with an underage girl, that is still the same crime. The latter, for some reason, seems to get people more upset. Apparently, it is worse to have a relationship with a minor if you are a man, but if you are a woman — “she was suffering from mental illness,” “she was going through a hard time” or “her husband was not fulfilling her needs” seem to be lines people like to use.
However, after Stacey Rambold, a male teacher, raped a fourteen year old girl and served thirty days in prison, none of those lines were used. “There’s clearly a double standard between the two genders. The general public seems to feel more sympathetic, and thus lenient towards women pedophiles than men,” said pre-business freshman Consuelo Mercader.
Look at it this way: In no way, shape or form should pedophilia be condoned, whether the person is female or male. “If the same crime is committed by two criminals of different genders, then the same punishment should be enforced,” Mercader said. However, their punishments by the courts seemed to not be “gender-blind.” Lafave, a female, received less of a punishment than Rambold, a male. Same crime under the law — just different punishments. Lafave, a female, had the public’s sympathy and support while Rambold, a male, received the public’s backlash and outcry.
In both senses, there is still inequality in not only our social system, but our justice system. Both pedophiles have committed an awful crime that deserves the harshest of punishments. Mercader feels “the only justifiable way to punish a pedophile is through a life sentence in jail.” It is true. A pedophile, regardless of gender, deserves the toughest punishment available — if a pedophile will commit the crime once, there is still a chance he or she will commit the crime again. Therefore, they must be stopped.
Opinion columnist Blake Mudd is a journalism freshman and may be reached at [email protected]