LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Several East Texas women are among a growing group of adult females accused of improper contact with minors. KTRE spoke with Dr. Debra Burton to see what could be sparking these relationships.
Reporter Lane Luckie said, "Why do you think we're seeing such a rise in the number of women who are attracted to such young people."
Dr. Debra Burton answered, "Some of these women maybe don't have a very high self-esteem. They have a low self-esteem or they're feeling just because of their age. They're not feeling as attractive and they're afraid of losing that. They don't keep the boundaries."
Our tech-savvy society might be handing these women the tools they need to act on their impulses. Burton said, "I think another problem that's contributing is the availability of communication through cell phone, text messaging, MySpace, and Facebook. It allows communication between even teacher and student that wouldn't have taken place before."
Burton said some women's maternal instincts may blur the line between right and wrong. A number of these cases involve women who have children that are the same age as the ones they are attracted to.
Burton said, "I think that the parent makes a complete separation. They don't see it that way. They're not looking at that person they're having a relationship with as being in the same category as their kids. That's how they separate it. They don't look at it as someone that's almost my child's age. That's just the person they're interested in."
She said parents should take responsibility in protecting their children, as sometimes, they fail to understand the dangers of adult/child relationships. "You know you just want to have good general guidelines and know your child. Know what they're interested in. Know where they are. I think that's the best thing we can do as a preventative."
Burton said it's important for parents to avoid becoming paranoid. However, they should look for boundaries being crossed, such as their children wanting to spend extended amounts of time alone with the same adult.