gender and crime

  • Created by: xxxx0210
  • Created on: 07-05-21 11:13

gender patters in crime

Heindensohn and Silvestri: obeserve gender differences

  • 4/5 convicted in England and Wales were male
  • by age40, 9% of females were convicted compared to 32% being men
  • higher proportion of female than male offenders for property offences
  • men more likely to be convicted for violence or secual offences
  • males more likely to be reated offenders

Do women commit more crime?

  • typically female crimes less likely to be reported
  • if reported they are less likely to be prosecuted
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The chivalry thesis (leniency)+

Argument: most criminal justice agents i.e police/ judges are men  and men are socialised to act in a 'chivalrous' way towards women.

Why?:  Pollack: men have protective attitude towards women so CJS is more lenient with female crime= less likely to show up on statistics, thus gives invalid picture of gender differences

Self-report studies: Graham and Bowling: sample of 1,721 14-25-year-olds found males were more likely to offend , found= males 2.33 times more likely to admit to having committed an offence

Official statistics : famles more likely than males to; be released on bail, receive fine instead of prison

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Evidence against chivalry thesis

Farrington and Morris : study of sentencing of 408 of theft offences in magistrates court found that women were  not setenced more leniently

Self-report studies: Hales et al: men more likely to have been offenders in all major offences- the more serious the offence the higher the gender difference gap

Under-reporting of male crimes against women: chivalry thesis ignores tha many male crimes do not get reported

If women appear to be treated leniently its simply as their offence is less serious

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Bias against women

Femininst agrue: CJS biased against women

Heidensohn argues courts punish women more harshly than men when they deviate from gender norms i.e:

  • Double standards: courts punish girls but not boys for premature secual activity - Sharpe found from her analysis of 55 youth worker records that 7 out 11 girls were reffered for support as they were sexually active but none of the 44 boys
  • Women who don't conform to accepted standars  of monogomous heterosexuality and motherhood are punished more harshly- Stewart found magistrates perception of female defendants was based of stereotypical gender roles

According to feminists: double standards exists because CJS is patriarchal- Walklate: in sexual abuse  cases it is not defendant who is on trial but the victim since she needs to prove her respectability to have her evidence accepted. 

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Fuctionalist sex role

Parsons: links gender differences in crime to gender roles in nuclear famile, men take instrumental role women take expressive where they socialise the children= boys reject feminnie models of behaviour by joining compensatory compulsory masuclinity through agression and anti-social behaviour

Cohen: lack of male role model= turn to all-male street gangs

Walklate: agues sex role theory for biological asumptions on sex differences i.e women having natura capacity to bear children instatly makes them suitable for expressive role  

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Heindensohn: Patriarchal control

Argument : womens behaviouris conformist that the commit fewer and less serious crimes than men due to patriarchal sociaty imposing greater control over women

Control at home:

  • domestic role at home puts restrictions for time reducing opportunities for crime, Dobash and Dobash- many violent attacks result from mens dissatisfaction with womens domestic work
  • girls less likely to go and come as pleased and have earlier curfews = develop 'bedroom culture' = socialising at home with friends rather than outside

Control in public:

  • women controled in pubic places for fear of violence against them  ie Islinghton crime survey showed 54% women avoided go out after dark
  • media reporting of sexual cases adds to fear
  • controlled by fear of being defined as not respectable i.e women avoid going to pubs for fear of being labelled sexually loose
  • Lees: school boys control girls by sexualised verbal abuse  .ie calling them 'slags' if not conforming

Control a work:

  • controlled by male supervisors
  • sexual harresmen is widespread and helps keep women 'in their place'
  • womens subordination reduces offending at work

Patriachy can  push women to commit crime i.e when poor they turn to prostitution or theft to gain decent standard of living

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