Is there a double standard between male and female sex offenders?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - There is the public perception that women sexual offenders seem to get more sympathy than if the sexual offender is a man.

Attorney Lisa Wells says the Stacey Schuler case is a prime example.

"There is a bias in this case and it is of course based on gender. If we were talking about a male teacher here it'd be that he needs to go to prison and for a very long time," said Wells.

Stacey Schuler faced up to 18 years in prison, but only got four years and could be out in as little as six months.

"If we were talking about female victims there would be all kinds of backlash about it, but since these are male athletic students who are generally assumed to be popular, who have good GPAs and are going to college, we look at her and say they weren't that scarred so there's definitely bias in her favor." said Wells.

"I think there's a bias because men look at sexual offenders differently than women do," said Helen Magers, a Cincinnati therapist.

Magers says a boy having sex with a female teacher is something other males think they should be proud of.  She says that may cause that boy to keep quiet about any trauma he's experiencing.

Some therapists believe boys may actually suffer deeper trauma from sexual abuse causing them to abuse alcohol or drugs, become violent or even commit suicide.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.