Female paedophiles should not get a free ride, that’s a given. Sex between adults and minors is imho never anything but problematic, suspect, shady, inherently icky. Emotional damage is pretty much baked into that scenario. Female paedophilia whether straight or gay should be discouraged just as strictly as any other kind.
OTOH, there are some good common-sense reasons why we instinctively feel less worried for the fate of a boy being groomed and courted by an adult woman, than for a girl being groomed and courted by an adult man. We feel instinctively that female paedophilia is wrong, but less criminal somehow, less “serious” a problem. I suggest that we all know, at a gut level, that…
- boys can’t get pregnant. They can’t become teenage moms.
- in general the sex acts that women may coerce or charm out of underage male partners are nondestructive, whereas penetration of an underage girl by an adult male may be physically damaging.
- a reasonably fit teenage boy is often physically a pretty good match in strength and fighting capacity to a grown woman — sometimes more than a match. A female paedophile is unlikely to get her way by brute force, whereas an underage girl is, on average, physically overmatched by an adult male.
- women — unlike men — statistically speaking are not known for kidnapping, imprisoning, pimping out or otherwise enslaving, beating, torturing, killing and/or dismembering their sexual victims. The not-so-tiny subset of men who exploit their power over underage girls or vulnerable women for sexual advantage does overlap with the (thankfully much smaller) subset of men who physically destroy their victims.
So, although social justice says (and it’s true) that sexually exploiting youth is always wrong, and that equality before the law requires that it be considered just as wrong when women do it to boys as when men do it to girls… we know that heterosexuality itself is not symmetrical in terms of risk and violence, and we know the odds. A teenage boy seduced by an adult female predator is less likely to end up physically damaged or dead as a result of such a liaison, and certainly runs no risk of a pregnancy that could alter the whole course of his life. We worry more about our girls, or about boys being groomed and courted by male paedophiles; and this is not just about patriarchal mindsets but also about common sense and realistic risk assessment.