Aimee L. Sword Case: Why Moms Have Sex With Sons


old mother's day cardA mother's love is sacred in our culture. So hearing that 36-year-old Aimee L. Sword had sex with her 16 year old son seems unfathomable to us. Somehow, a father having sex with a daughter, while just as disturbing an despicable, seems more typical. Most sex offenders are male.

Or so we think.

James A. Cates, a clinical psychologist in Northeast Indiana, says bad record keeping and limited reporting prevents us from truly knowing how common this form of incest is. He says there is still enough chauvinistic thinking that "victims," particularly adolescent males coerced by older females, may not perceive themselves as "victims" at all, and hence such crimes may be under-reported. Young men may be too embarrassed to report assault or coercion by a female, and even harbor a disbelief that it occurred (e.g., "Aunt So and So would never do that!").

No question Sword has problems. Women who become romantically and/or sexually aroused by a child, preadolescent, or early adolescent male are likely to experience many of the same issues as any sex offender: fear of intimacy, failure to develop full adult emotional relationships, sexual and/or emotional trauma at an early age, failure to empathize fully with others, Cates explains.

Researchers are only beginning to examine some of the possible differences between male and female offenders, but because the number of female offenders is so small by comparison, it's shaky at best.

It would be unprofessional and unethical for Cates to comment directly on the Sword case, but he did offer some general insight into why moms sometimes have sex with their sons.

One reason has to do with the fact that Sword gave up her son for adoption when he was a baby, and didn't reconnect with him until he was a teenager. There is a theory that raising a child from infancy onward "inoculates" a male parent against seeing that child as a sexual object.

"Rather, the parent learns to see the child as a son or daughter, to be loved in a protective, parental manner rather than a sexual or romantic manner," Cates says. "This would probably hold true for a mother as well, but the theory has largely been applied to male offenders."

Psychologists sometimes use this theory to explain the reason stepparents or adoptive parents sexually abuse their children, and it could apply in the case of a birth mother who had placed her child for adoption, only to find him in later years. "There would be no bonding to stop a parent with preexisting problems with sexual/romantic boundaries from feeling drawn to her/his child in an inappropriate way," Cates says.

He doesn't give much weight to another circulating explanation for Sword's behavior, called "genetic attraction." This is the theory that close biological relatives who meet as adults have been known to experience such attraction. Author of the book on this theory, Barbara Gonyo, dubbed the phenomenon "Genetic Sexual Attraction" in discussing her own charged reunion with the son she gave up for adoption. 

"What we don't understand about the maternal-child bond, much less the parental-child bond is overwhelming, although efforts such as the human genome project, advances in brain imaging technology, and a better understanding of neurochemistry are advancing us rapidly in these areas," Cates says. "It just remains for an understanding of the emotions to catch up."

 For now, we can only wonder and pray we do not hear a story like this again anytime soon.

"We are shocked when mothers too are fallible humans who fall prey to irrational thinking, destructive behaviors, or fail to treat their children as we think they should," Cates said. "The greater wonder (for which we should be thankful) is that so many mothers do work hard to be caring, competent parents, often in the face of overwhelming odds."


Image via jeanbowe/Flicker

emotional health, mental health


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ethan... ethans_momma06

Sexuality is so complex ANYWAYS.... it is unfortunate, sickening even, that people feel compelled to engage in these acts. :(

kryst... krystel.justice

I read a really good book called The Kiss recently, about a woman who has a sexual affair with her father after reuniting with him as an adult. It was very disturbing, but she talks about that kind of sexual attraction being well recognized in the psychological community. Here is a link to the book:

mnmommy1 mnmommy1

Thats wrong...eww

nonmember avatar Big John

She needs to be shot in the face, period..... 

nonmember avatar Koko

it was the son who coerced the mother into having sex with him.

see below:

The whole story was just sensationalized to make it sound horrible on the woman's part. The son was out of hand and it was the social worker who found her contacts.

and it was the son's violent transgressions that the sex occurred.

so should they both be sentenced to more counselling, yes! stop locking people up for no reason. do something to fix them.

nonmember avatar Greg

what about all these twillight mom who throw their panties in the face of Edward and Jacob, who are underage in the movies?

nonmember avatar John

People see to have a hard time believing that this stuff happens, but it does.
My mother poisoned my mind against my dad who wanted to raise me like an all American boy, but she preferred to raise me on a pink pillow. We went to live with her mother and aunt where she proclaimed me to be the man of the house and her little man. As her little man, I often slept in bed with her through age 11. When I hit puberty at age 10 is when all of the sexual contact began. She absorbed me emotionally as well to meet her unmet emotional needs, but she never met mine. She really wanted a little girl and told me so which led her I believe to raise me on a pink pillow. The feeling of my identity being all wrapped up in her continued even when she got married again through my high school as well as college years. The summer after I was 13 while visiting in her mother's huge house, we had a very intense sexual time together. From then on through my early 20ties, mom would barge into my room at anytime with a see through, braless nightie on. I've been in therapy for several years because until just a few years ago all of this was blocked. In her older age, my mother told me that she knew the way she raised me was wrong and it would cause me great pain, but she could not help it. Someone must have done something terrible to her as a child. Believe me, this sick sexual abuse does take place and it's all about power not the sex itself.

Jades... JadesInTheSky

tsk tskYou know there's never an excuse for any adult, especially a Mother or Father, to have sex with a child.  Some people will say a child will coerce an adult and that's impossible.  Female pedophiles are quite common but often downplayed in the media and given lighter sentences.  Often the female offenders are White and married with children of their own such as the case of Mary Kay Louternou where there was a movie made seemingly to justify her actions.  There's a long list of female teachers who have sex with their students and the list keeps getting longer.  View it here:  I think society cannot fathom perfect White women who appear docile as being labeled as pedophiles and/or sex offenders when in reality they are.

nonmember avatar poptones

A 16 year old is not an undeveloped little child being. A 16 year old has, in all but rare cases, developed sexually and knows what those urges mean. Keeping kids like pets and acting like sex is some sort of unnatural act in all but the most "normal" expressions of it is what's really wrong in western society.

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