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Gender and crime- the link
Why do females appear to commit less crime than men?
There are Invisible female offenders OUT THERE IN SOCIETY!
· 80% of offenders are male - this questions why 20% of crime is practically ignored.
· Heidensohn criticised the male dominance of the subject and gave 4 reasons why it is so:
- Male dominance of offenders: majority are male, so it's more appropriate to study them.
- Male dominance of sociology: majority of sociology academics are male - topics of investigation
- Vicarious identification: men study what interests them, most often the marginal and exciting.
- Sociological theorising: male sociologists constructed the theories without thinking about them
being applied to women. Traditional theories are 'gender blind'.
Sex roles/gender socialization of women is different compared to men
Heiderson: The constraint of socialization
· Suggests that women have FAR MORE to loose compare to men if they get involved in crime
and deviance since they will most likely get stigmatize/shamed up by the media as exemplified by
the Amanda Knox case/Pussy Riots in Russia
· Carlen states that women are socialized into performing central roles as "guardians of
domestic moralitiy" they will risk of social disapproval as well. It's a "unfeminine/lady like" thing
to get into therefore they will face double the jepody
Heiderson: Social control makes women too scared to commit delinquent acts
· -Agencies of social control work discourage people from choosing crime over conformity.
· Heiderson suggests that there is an ideology of different spheres. Male dominate the public
sphere like work/pub/clubs/streets at night where most crime is commited.
· Women are in the private spheres of the home, protected from the dangerous/big bad
spheres outside their homes and they arte faced with controls arising from the fear of
physical/sexual violence if they go out alone late at night/sexual harassement from their male
bosses which rstircts their opportunity to deviate. They are responcible for the domestic
labour/childcare provides less opportunity for crime and even if they do, they face more
serious/tougher consequences. Teen girls are most likely to be more closely supervised than
their teen boys, reducing girls from getting into trouble.
· Women face the threat of loosing their reputation of being "respectable" if they do engage
in deviant acts through gossip/labels like "slag"/"slapper" by males and men would lack their
The big fat Chilvary thesis
Basically, the chilvry theiss suggests that paternism/sexism is more part of the criminal justice
system, since males dominate police courts/police stations, meaning that women are treated
more leniently compared to men
The Office. Women are constantly treated more leniently by the law, with first
offenders about half as likely to be given a sentence if immediate
inmprosonment as their male counterparts
Female officers: They feel/be seen less serious threat than males, therefore
thwey are most likely to benefit from th more informal approaches to their
offenses, in particular minor offenses like a word of warning instead of a
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charge. Women are not seen more potentially cautious than males because they
would commit minor offenses like shoplifting
Evidence against the chilarly thesis
ü Growing females criminality
The pattern is slowly changing in the UK/EU countries.…read more
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Westwood: identities are constantly restructured and reframed. We need to understand
how women are changing their identities in a more forceful way and link it to crime.
Heidensohn disputes this however, saying convicted offenders score highly on tests of
Transgression: A postmodernist critique (feminist view)
Carlen: argued the previous explanations are theoretically weak.
Smart: transgressive criminology - criminology itself is tied to male concerns and
questions so could never answer feminist questions.…read more