The Chivalry thesis - Carol Smart

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  • Created on: 27-03-15 11:55
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  • The Chivalry Thesis - Carol Smart
    • Treating others, especially women, with courtesy, sympathy and respect
      • Females are less likely to appear in crime statistics due to the agencies of social control being more lenient towards them
        • This in turn gives an invalid picture that exaggerates the extent of gender differences in rates of offending.
    • Evidence that supports this thesis:
      • Graham and Bowling's research on 1721, 14-25 year olds using self report studies found although males were more likely to offend the difference was smaller than that of official statistics.
      • Flood-Page et al found that 1 in 11 female self reported offenders had been cautioned or prosecuted, for males it was 1 in 7
      • Ministry of Justice, 49% of females recorded as offending received a caution whereas only 30% of males did.
    • Evidence against this thesis:
      • Women's offences tend to be less serious and women are less likely to have a criminal record
        • This suggests there is no systematic bias against women
      • Farrington and Morris looked at 408 offences in Cambridge and found that in the case of serious offences, gender appeared to play no role.
    • Bias against women
      • There is evidence that some women are treated differently than other women
        • Carlen concludes that women who are considered good mothers are unlikely to be imprisoned whereas women who where considered bad mothers received harsher sentences.
      • Heidensohn suggests that females are treated more harshly when they deviate from societal norms of femininity
        • Women are more likely to escape with lighter sentences for motoring crimes yet crimes that offend what it is to be a woman get punished more harshly


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