6. Gender, crime and justice

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  • Gender, crime and justice
    • Gender patterns in crime
      • Official statistics show:
        • Men to be generally  more criminal than women
        • Men commit more sexual and violent crimes than women
        • Men are more likely to be repeat offenders
      • Should we take OF's at face value?
      • How do we explain these trends?
      • Do women actually commit fewer crimes?
        • Typically female crimes are less likely to be reported
        • Women are less likely to be prosecuted harshly if at all
      • Do OFs paint a valid picture of crime
        • POLLACK
          • Most criminal justice agents are men and are socialised to be chivalrous
          • The masked female offender
          • Women's roles allow them to get away with crimes like poisoning relatives
          • Women are better at hiding their crimes due to their biological make up
            • Women are used to deceiving men as they hide pain during menstruation and mislead men during intercourse
          • EVAL: HEIDONSOHN
            • Concealment of pain during menstruation is not universal
      • Evidence against the chivalry thesis
        • BOX
          • Looked at self-report studies in the UK and USA
          • Although OFs may be underestimated when it comes to serious crimes OFs are fairly accurate
      • Double standards in the CJS
        • HEIDONSOHN
          • The CJS is more likely to punish women more harshly
          • Female criminals are seen as doubly deviant because they break not only social norms but also gender norms
        • CARLEN
          • Women are seen as mothers, wives and daughters rather than examining the seriousness of their crimes
    • Explaining female crime
      • LOMBROSO & FERRERO
        • Criminality is innate but there are very few born female criminals
      • 3 main explanations of gender differences in crime:
        • Sex role theory
        • Control theory
        • Liberation thesis
      • Functionalist sex role theory
        • Socialisation: girls are socialised into caring roles during childhood whereas men are socialised to be risk-taking and independent
        • Social control: females are more likely to be closely supervised
        • Role model: girls have better role models than boys which stops them turning to subcultures
        • Lack of opportunities: females are less able to access the criminal opportunity  strcuture
        • EVAL: WALKLATE: this theory makes biological assumptions that all women are best suited to the expressive role purely because they are able to bear children
      • Control theory
        • HEIDONSOHN
        • Women commit fewer crimes because they are subject to greater amounts of social control than men in a patriarchal society
        • Control at home: constant housework and childcare restricts their time and movement and confines them to the house for long periods of time
        • Control at work: behaviour is controlled by male supervisors. Sexual harassment keeps women 'in their place'
        • Control in public: threat of male violence, especially sexual violence frightens women into staying indoors
      • Liberation thesis
        • If society becomes less  dominated by men, crime rates among women will become more similar to that of men
        • ADLER
        • As females take on more masculine roles they too begin to commit more masculine crimes
        • 3 ways women have become liberated:
          • Patriarchal control and discrimination has lessened
          • Opportunities in education and work have become more equal
          • Women have begun to adopt traditionally male roles in both legitimate and illegitimate activity
        • EVAL: HEIDONSOHN: the women most likely to benefit from liberation are m/c yet most crimes are committed by the w/c
    • Why do men commit crime?
      • MESSERSCHMIDT
        • Masculinity is a social construction and men have to constantly work at constructing and presenting it to others
        • Some men have more resources to draw upon than others
        • Hegemonic masculinity is society's accepted definition of what it mean to be a man
        • Some men have subordinated masculinities (e.g. gay men who have no desire to accomplish hegemonic masculinity)
        • Those men who lack the power and resources to achieve masculinity turn to crime
        • Different types of men (e.g. w/c compared to m/c) may turn to different crimes (e.g. white collar crime compared to street robbery)
        • EVAL: Is masculinity an explanation for crime or just a description of male offenders?
        • Hegemonic masculinity
      • KATZ
        • Seductions of crime
        • Many men may turn to crime simply for the pleasure and thrill it offers them
        • He is influenced by the work of MATZA saying young men drift in and out of different types of crime
      • LYNG
        • Edgework
        • Draws on the work of KATZ
        • Young men search for pleasure through risk-taking, he calls this edgework as it is an edge between danger and security
        • His theory of edgework explains crimes such as hooliganism, joy-riding, drug-taking, gang crime and speeding
      • WINLOW
        • Postmodernity, masculinity and crime
        • Globalisation has led to a shift from a modern industrial society to a postmodern de-industrial society
        • This shift has led to the loss of many traditional manual jobs through which men used to gain masculinity from
        • There has also been an expansion of the service sector
        • For some young w/c men, these changes have provided a combination of legal employment, lucrative criminal opportunities and a means of expressing their masculinity
    • What kinds of crime do women commit?
      • Some feminists argue that we should be focussing on why women commit less crime than men but rather what type of crimes they do commit
      • EYSENCK
        • Psychological
        • Extroverts are more likely to be criminals than introverts
        • Tested his theory on married and unmarried mothers
        • He argued that an unmarried mums are extrovert and therefore more prone to deviance
        • EVAL: are all unmarried mums extroverts? May not reflect personality
      • CHAPMAN
        • Economical marginalisation
        • The second most committed crime amongst women is fraud
        • He says this is because women form the bulk of poor people in society
      • CARLEN: class & gender deals
        • Similarly to CHAPMAN believed that female crime is caused by poverty
        • Disagrees with ADLER as she argues that many of the women she encountered had not experienced the benefits of female liberation
        • She argues that w/c women are generally led to conform through the promise of 2 types of deals
          • The class deal: women who work will be offered material rewards with a decent standard of living and leisure opportunities
          • The gender deal: patriarchal ideology promises women material and economical reward from family life by conforming to the N&Vs of a conventional domestic gender role
        • The women Carlen interviewed blamed their crimes on several factors:
          • 1. Physical and sexual abuse from fathers or partners
          • 2. Time spent in care  which broke bonds with family and friends
          • 3. Running away from care left the women homeless, unemployed and poor
        • The deals did not make criminal women conform as:
          • In terms of the gender deal, most of the women had either not had the opportunity to make the deal or saw few rewards and many disadvantages in family life
          • They had gained no rewards from the class deal so they felt they had nothing to lose e
    • Women, crime and punishment
      • SMART
        • Women have to justify themselves in rape trials in order to be considered and taken seriously when they are the true victimes
      • DOBASH & DOBASH
        • Men are treated leniently in domestic violence cases
        • The police are reluctant to get involved in domestic violence cases as they see the family as a private and sacred sphere which should

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