Crime and Deviance - Gender - Sex role theory

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 27-03-15 12:16
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  • Sex Role Theory
    • Sutherland
      • Girls are more closely supervised and more strictly controlled.
        • Therefore girls naturally commit less crime because of the way they're socialised.
      • Boys are more likely to be encouraged to take risks and to be tough and aggressive
        • As a result boys have more opportunity and more inclination to commit crime
    • Parsons
      • There are clearly defined gender roles in the modern nuclear family
        • Father performs the instrumental role of leader and provider
        • Mother performs the expressive role of giving emotional support and socialising children.
          • These gender roles are usually rooted in biology as women give birth to and nurse children.
      • Girls usually have a readily available female role model at home (their mother)
        • Boys have less access to a male role model as they are largely socialised by their mother.
          • This means they tend to reject any behaviour seen as feminine and pursue masculinity where there is emphasis on toughness and aggression
            • This can encourage anti-social behaviour and delinquency
              • Which explains why males commit more crime than females.
    • Cohen
      • Without a readily available role model boys can experience anxiety about their identity
        • A solution to this is the all male peer group or street gang
          • The toughness and risk taking behaviour can help to confirm a masculine identity but encourage deviant behaviour at the same time
      • Similarly New Right theorists argue the absence of male role models in matrifocal lone parent families least boys turning to street gangs as a source of status and identity
        • The boys learn from the males in the gang how to be masculine which in turn can lead to crime.
    • Evaluation
      • Feminists argue it ignores the power that men have over women
        • It ignores the largely patriarchal nature of society
        • Feminists locate their explanations in the patriarchal nature of society and women's subordinate positions in it


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