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Gender and Crime

Smart (1977) argues that our knowledge of this issue is `still in its infancy'. She suggests
that the amount of work carried out in the areas of women and crime is extremely limited.
She put forward a number of reasons for this neglect:

1. Women tend…

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Sutherland (1949)
According to Sutherland, girls are more closely supervised and more strictly controlled. Boys
are more likely to be encouraged to take risks and be tough and aggressive. So, boys have
more opportunity to commit crime.

Parsons (1955)
According to Parsons, there are clearly defined gender roles in the…

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Buckle and Farrington's (1984) study of shoplifting witnessed twice as many males
shoplifting as females. Women were more likely to be prosecuted than men for this -
in official statistics the numbers were more or less equal.
Box's (1981) review of British and American self-report studies concludes that
women who…

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Home - Women's domestic role reduces their opportunities to offend. Women who
try to reject their domestic role may find that their partners seek to impose it by
force, often through domestic violence. Dobash and Dobash (1979) argue that men
are violent towards women who dissatisfy them. They deny women…

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oppressive family were the 2 main causes of their criminality. Drug and alcohol addiction and
the desire for excitement were contributory factors, but these often stemmed from
poverty or being brought up in care. Being criminalised and jailed made the class deal even
less available to them and made crime…

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Carol Smart ­ A Critique Of Adler:

Adler incorrectly assumes that rates of crime are an accurate guide to the future
patterns of adult crime.
Adler's views are largely based on official statistics, which are unreliable.
She did not take into account the changing proportions of males and females in…

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They also found a relationship between unemployment rates and crime rates
amongst women.


Like all other studies their work relies heavily on official statistics.
However, it is more sophisticated than other explanations/theories, as they take
many factors into account.

Explaining Male Crime:

Normative masculinity:

Connell (1995) argued that there…

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Lyng: Edgework:

A linked argument comes from Lyng (1990), who argues that young males search for
pleasure through risk-taking; the risk-taking can best be seen as `edgework', which means
that there is a thrill from acting in ways that are on the edge between security and danger.
This helps to…

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White, working-class youths have less chance of educational success, so their
masculinity is oppositional both in and out of school. It is constructed around sexist
attitudes, being tough and opposing teachers' authority. The `lads' in Willis' study are
a good example of this.
Black, lower working-class youths may have few…

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masculinity changes with the move from a modern industrial society to a postmodern
de-industrialised one. At the same time, it shows how this can open up new criminal career
opportunities for men.


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