The Liberation Thesis for explaing female crime

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  • The Liberation Thesis
    • If society becomes less patriarchal & more equal, women's crime rates will become similar to mens
    • Changes in the structure of society have led to changes in women's offending behaviours
    • Oppourtunitues in education & work have become more equal women have begun to adopt traditionally 'male' roles in both legitimate activity & illegitimate activity
    • Evidence to support the Liberation Thesis
      • Both overall rate of female offending & female share of offences rose during second half of 20th century
      • Studies support Alders view as they show the rising level of female participation in crimes previously regarded as 'male'
      • More recently there has been media talk of the growth of 'girl gangs'
    • Criticisms of the Liberation Thesis
      • The female crime rate began rising in 1950s which was before the women's liberation movement(1960s)
      • Most female criminals are WC, the group least likely to be influenced by women's liberation - has benefited MC women much more
      • There's little evidence that the illegitimate opportunity structure of professional rime has opened up to women
      • It can be argued that she overestimates both the extent to which women have become liberated & the extent to which they are now able to engage in serious crime


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