Female teachers caught having sex with male students; How to protect children

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Jan 22, 2019

(WXYZ) — In the last two weeks, two female teachers in Michigan have been charged with having sex with their male students.

In the last five years, the media has covered many cases involving teachers having sex with students. But when the teachers are women and students are boys, the conversation often turns in a different direction.

Clinical psychotherapist Tracey Stein says women aren’t often seen as perpetrators.

“Women are nurturers, we take care of people and we don’t hurt people,” says Stein.

She says the boundaries often get blurred because boys don’t see that attention as a criminal act.

Recently, detectives say former Rochester high school teacher Kathryn Houghtaling admitted to having sex with two boys, ages 16 and 17, in a car and at her apartment. She also allegedly drank and smoked pot with them. She faces six counts of criminal sexual conduct.

“At the root of all sexual assault is power and control. It’s not about sex,” says Stein.

Police say school teacher Heather Winfield of Alpena is believed to have also used a computer to commit crimes along with criminal sexual conduct invoking a boy under 13 years old.

Stein says it also seems society also has a double standard. The incidents are viewed as real life fantasies, and teenage boys seen as participants rather than victims. Stein says we need to change as a culture.

“We need to be able to say to our children that there should never be any kind of sexual relationship with you and any kind of adult,” says Stein. Often those kinds of conversations happen with young girls, but also need to be had with boys.

Former Rochester High teacher Kathryn Houghtaling is due back in court on January 24th and remains free on bond until then.