Gender and crime

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  • Gender, crime and justice
    • Crime gender gap
      • In england and Wales 2013
        • Men accounted for nearly three quarters of all persons convicted, 95% of prisoners
        • Men are more likely to be repeat offenders and they commit more serious crime
        • By the age of 40, 9% of females had a criminal conviction against 32% of males
    • Chivalry thesis
      • The CJS is more lenient to women because its agents are men. They are socialised to act 'chivalrously' towards women
      • Pollack argues men have a protective attitude towards women, so they are unwilling to arrest, charge, prosecute or convict them
      • Evidence for
        • Graham and Bowling- admitting an offence
        • Home office statistics
        • Females are generally regarded by police as a less serious threat than men
      • Evidence against
        • Farrington and Morris study of sentencing
        • Buckle and Farrington observational study of shoplifting
        • Box- self report studies
        • Although women are far less likely to commit serious offences, those who do face more sever punishment
        • Women are twice as likely to be denied bail when charged with drug offences
        • Many women in prison appear to have been sentenced more severely than men in similar situations
    • Functionalist: sex role theory
      • Parsons believes that socialisation gives us our gender roles
      • Girls do not develop deviant values
      • Crimes are an extension of these roles
      • Girls follow female role model- caring and gentle
      • Walklate- too much biological assumption that women are gentle
    • Control theory
      • Heidensohn- women conform because they are controlled by the patriarchal society and this reduces their opportunity to offend
      • Home- nuclear family is like a prison. Gender expectation in housewife role. Domestic violence as control if they fail
      • Men control finances, limiting their wives activities. Daughters are monitors (bedroom culture)
      • Public- women fear sexual violence so they stay at home
      • Modern relationships more equal
      • More policing of domestic violence
      • Greater sexual freedom
    • Poverty/ Marginalisation
      • Carlen- promise of reward for conformity to femininity.
      • Class deal- if they work they are promised material rewards and a decent standard of living
      • Gender deal- material/ emotional rewards, good family life if they fulfil expectations
      • If no reward, women feel frustrated and choose crime
      • Too much focus on male control of the class/ gender deal. Doesn't consider free will
    • Liberationist Theory
      • Changing role of women
      • Adler- changing structure of society= increased female crime
      • Less control of women by men. Greater self-confidence and assertiveness
      • Westwood- identities reconstructed, no longer traditional role
      • Female crime rate began rising in 1950s before female liberation
      • Most female criminals are wc who havent been affected by female liberation
    • What causes men to offend?
      • The assertion of masculinity
        • Connell- hegemonic masculinity. Independence, self confidence, toughness, aggressions, subordination of women
      • Messerschmidt- masculinity is a social construct, accomplishment. Men have to work to constantly achieve and assert their masculinity
        • Some men have more resources to draw on to do this than others
      • Hegemonic masculinity
        • The dominant prestigious form of masculinity. Paid work, subordination of women, heterosexuality
      • Subordinated masculinity
        • Gay, lower class, ethnic minority. Lack of resources to accomplish hegemonic masculinity and so turn to crime
      • White, middle class youths
        • Subordinate themselves to teachers in order to achieve middle class status
        • Accommodating masculinity in school, oppositional form outside
      • White lower class youths
        • Less chance of educational success. Their masculinity is opposed in school and out of school
        • Oppose teachers and hold sexist attitudes to construct their masculinity
      • Black lower class youths
        • Few expectations of a reasonable job. Use gang membership and violence to explain their masculinity
      • Criticisms of Messerschmidt
        • He does not explain why all men use crime to accomplish masculinity
        • Is masculinity a cause of crime or just a description of male offenders?

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