If Jerry Sandusky's Victims Were Girls We'd Still Be Horrified

The Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case is one of the sickest, most perverted stories in the history of this country. It goes so far beyond just being sick in college football and now rivals the Catholic Church scandal in terms of depravity. And yet some are saying that the only reason we are so outraged by the Sandusky abuse is that the victims were boys.

To be sure, as the mother of a young boy, I am horrified by the allegations. Just the thought of taking advantage of and abusing a young boy that age -- so unsure of himself, caught between wanting to be super manly and still really being a child -- is sickening. But it's just as sick and wrong with a girl. If this were a 10-year-old girl, I would be equally horrified and sickened, and I don't think I'm overestimating the general public when I say everyone else would, too.

According to Jezebel:


If Jerry Sandusky had victimized little girls, right now discussion of the case would be decidedly different. There would undoubtedly be a vocal public contingent that placed some of the blame on the victims .... If Sandusky's victims were girls, people might doubt the assaults took place at all, as many female victims of sexual abuse are doubted. Whispers would suggest that the girls were being paid by a rival school to sabotage Penn State's recruitment efforts by seducing the coach. Intrepid sports bloggers would dig relentlessly to uncover the identities of the girls and attempt to find something, anything, that would validate their theory that they somehow tempted their beloved defensive wizard.

It's simply not true. Sure, there is ample evidence to the contrary. The recent horrific gang rape of an 11-year-old did prove that some people focus too much on how victims act and too little on how the perpetrators act. And certainly, the repugnant treatment of director Roman Polanski who admitted to raping a 13-year-old and still gets standing ovations at the Oscars is a horrifying example of girls' rapes being ignored.

But those stories aside, there is outrage when any child -- girl or boy -- suffers at the hand of an adult, especially one they trusted. I can assure anyone who wonders that I would be just as outraged by these allegations if they had happened to girls between 8 and 13 as I am that they happened to boys.

Further, there is this notion out there that one needs to be a parent to be outraged here. Again, this isn't true. Anyone with a conscience can see the clear abuse of power and the pain inflicted on a child, boy or girl. One need not have given birth or held a baby in their arms to know that sodomizing or raping a child -- any child -- in a shower is unimaginably evil.

Let's not forget that for years, the abuse of these boys was kept under wraps, hidden because of football at a school that valued the bottom line more than children. Of course people are outraged. This has less to do with the gender of the children and more to do with the abuse and the cover-up.

Anyone who thinks the public would be less outraged if the victim were a girl is almost too cynical to believe. What happened at Penn State is beyond sick, beyond depraved, and beyond comprehension. The gender of the victims is hardly the point.

Do you think people would be less upset if it were girls being abused?


Photo via mvhargan/Flickr

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