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Gender and crime

Gender and patterns of crime

According to Carol Smart, writing in 1979 there are two reasons why there had been up
until that point a comparatively small amount of research into female criminality: firstly
women did in fact commit less crimes and secondly because the crimes that…

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who decide to be housewives therefore have the opportunity to poison or sexual abuse their
relatives. Pollack argued that the reasons for the lack of recorded female crime is that (1)
those within law enforcement tend to chivalrously give women the benefit of the doubt, or at
least let them…

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as a way of explaining their deviance and can see less serious measures such as probation as
a means of giving such women guidance to return to their proper state instead of punishing
them with a prison sentence and thus dragging them further into a more masculine world. Pat

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with only 14.3% of women receiving time behind bars compared to 26.6% of men. Some
critics of the chivalry thesis have argued that these figures could simply be a result of men
committing more serious crimes than women. Hillary Allen (1987) attempted to produce a
study that took account of…

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cases of domestic violence, as well as an added emphasis on securing prosecutions for such
crimes. Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act (2004) is further evidence of political
attempts to give more consideration to the seriousness and often devastating effects that
experience of domestic violence can have on sufferers and…

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Those such as Heidensohn who attack Adler's standpoint have done so by pointing out that
crime rates have mainly risen among those women for whom female liberation has had least
impact, such as working class women, and those who are more criminal tend to score higher
on tests of traditional…

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For Carlen the theory that women's liberation was responsible for rising crime rates was
false because the women that she interviewed were in social groups that had been least
affected by changes in the labour market or elsewhere in society, indeed as they had got
older they had found that…

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They reject the gender deal because of a failure in their early socialisation to make them
accepted their roles as `guardians of domestic morality' which for the majority of women
acts as an ideological control on any feelings that may lead to them to commit crime, an
ideology that is…

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Like Carlen Heidensohn bases her analysis on control theory, arguing that because there are
greater social restrictions placed on women this makes it harder for them to deviant and thus
leads to them commuting less crime. She sees these controls as existing at home, work and
in wider social life.…

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Evaluation: Heidensohn's explanation for female deviance has been criticised for its tendency
to overgeneralise from samples that are largely of juvenile offenders to produce a theory to
explain criminality amongst all women and for a lack of supporting evidence from empirical
research, however given the noticeable inequalities that continue to…


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