Gender, crime and justice 1

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  • Gender, crime and justice
    • Gender patterns in crime
      • Most crime appears to be committed by men. 4 out of 5 convicted offenders are male.
      • A higher proportion of females are convicted of property offences except burglary, whereas males are convicted of violent or sexual offences.
      • Official statistics underestimate the amount of females offending.
      • Female crimes are less likely to be reported e.g. shoplifting is less likely to be reported than men's violence.
      • Women's crimes are less likely to be prosecuted.
      • The chivalry thesis - argues that CJS is more lenient to women because its agents - police, judges, juries etc - are men who are socialised to act 'chivalrously' towards women.
      • Pollak - argues that men have a protective attitude towards women, therefore unwilling to arrest, charge, prosecute or convict them. heir crimes are less likely to end up in official statistics, therefore it under-represents female crime.
      • Graham & Bowling - young males were 2.33 times more likely than females to admit having committed an offence in the previous year - official statistics show it as 4 times more likely to offend.
      • Hood - 3,000 defendants found that women were about one third less likely to be jailed in similar cases.
      • Farrington & Morris - study of a magistrates court found women were not sentenced more leniently for comparable offences.
      • Box - review of self report studies concludes that women who commit serious crimes are not treated more favourably than men.
      • Feminists argue that CJS is biased against women, as they treat women more harshly, especially when they deviate from gender norms of monogamous heterosexuality and motherhood.
      • Heidensohn - double standard of courts punishing girls but not boys for promiscuous activity.
      • Walklate - rape cases it id the victim who is on trial, since she has to prove her respectability in order to have her evidence accepted.
      • Buckle & Farington - twice as many males shoplifting, which suggests women shoplifters are more likely to be prosecuted.
    • Functionalist sex role theory
      • Parson - women perform the expressive role at home, including responsibility for socialisation. Gives the girls an adult role model, but not the boys.
      • Boys distance themselves by engaging in 'compensatory compulsory masculinity' - ASBO, risk-taking.
      • Men take the instrumental role, performed largely outside the home, making socialisation more difficult for boys.
      • A.K. Cohen - absence of an adult male role model means boys are more likely to turn to all-male street gangs as a source of masculine identity. They earn status by acts f delinquency.
      • RR argue that the absence of a male role model in matrifocal lone-parent families leads to boys' delinquency.
      • Walklake criticises Parsons for assuming that because women are biologically capable of bearing children, they are best suited for the expressive role. Although he clams to explain gender differences in crime due to socialisation, his explanation is based on biological assumptions about sex differences.


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