Gender patterns in crime

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  • Created by: charl_w
  • Created on: 08-02-16 19:40
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  • Gender patterns in crime
    • Do women commit more crime?
      • Sociologists argue official stats underestimate the amount of female crime offending.
        • Female crime is less likely to be reported e.g women shoplifting is less likely to be reported than mens violence.
          • Even when women crimes are reported, they are less likely to be prosecuted.
      • Female crime is less likely to be reported e.g women shoplifting is less likely to be reported than mens violence.
        • Even when women crimes are reported, they are less likely to be prosecuted.
    • The Chivalry thesis
      • The idea that women are less likely to be prosecuted for their offences is called the chivalry thesis.
      • This argues the criminal justice system is more lenient on women, because its agents-police officers, judges are men who are socialised to 'act chivalrously' towards women.
      • Pollak argues men have a protective attitude to women, so are unwilling to arrest, charge, prosecute or convict them.
        • Their crimes are less likely to end up in official stats, giving an invalid picture that under-represents female crime.
      • Evidence for the chivalry thesis.
        • Self report studies show that female offenders are treated more leniently.
        • Graham and Bowling found young males were 2.33 more times likey than female to admit to having committed an offence in the previous year.
          • Whereas the official statistics show males as four times more likey to offend.
        • Compared with men, women are more likey to be cautioned rather than prosecuted.
        • Hood's study of over 3000 defendants found that women were about 1/3 less likey to be jailed in similar cases.
      • Evidence against the chivalry thesis
        • Farrington and Morris' study of a magistrates court found women were not sentenced more leniently for comparable offences.
          • Box's review on self report studies concludes that women who commit serious offences are not treated more favourably than men.
    • Bias against women
      • Feminists argue that the criminal justice is biased against women. They argue that the cjs treats women more harshly,
        • especially when they deviate from gender norms of monogamous heterosexuality and motherhood.
      • Heidensohn notes the double standards of courts punishing girls, but not boys, for promiscuous
      • Carlen found scottish courts were much more likey to jail women whose children were in care than women they saw as good mothers.
      • Walklate argues that in rape cases it is the victim  that is on trial, since she has to prove her respectability in order to have her evidence accepted
    • Explaining female crime
      • Overall in women do seem to have a lower rate of offending than men.
    • Bias against women
      • Feminists argue that the criminal justice system is not biased in favour in women, as the chivalry thesis claims, it is biased against them.
      • The argue the cjs treats women more harshly especially when they deviate from norms of monogamous marriage or motherhood.
      • Heidensohn notes the double standards of courts punishing girls but not boys for sexual activity.
      • Carlen found scottish courts were more likely to jail women whose children were in care than women whom they saw as good mothers.

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