Gender differences in patterns of crime

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Gender statistics

Official Stats

  • Morgan (2000) : men make up 94% of prison population and 4/5 out of all offenders in England and Wales
  • 2013 stats : men are 3x more likely to be arrested for drug possession
  • 2005 : 1.8 million were found guilty - 79% were male and only 7% were female
  • Ratio to male offenders to female offenders if 4:1
  • The highest rates of offending for the most serious crimes were 17 years old for male and 15 for females
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Women dont commit as much as crime - supporting ev

1) Domestic Role in family

  • Heidensohn: women naturally conformist due to patr control (no opporunity to offend)
  • Functionalists : no oppotunity to offend due to socialisation. Boys = tough and risk takers meaning they take advantage of criminal oppotunity.
  • Parsons : nuclear family teaches this. Boys earn to reject feminine valyes of tenderness and gentleness and instead engage in 'compensatory compulsory masculinity'
  • Cohen : men have less to do with socialisation [link to social class] thus boys are more likely to turn to gangs as a source of masculine identity
  • [AO2] This is criticised by feminists such as Walklate - Parsons assumes as women have biological ability to give birth hey are best to suit for expressive role.
    2) Social Control
  • Boys may be allowed out late - girls denied this opportunity to "come and go as they please" - they stay at home and develop a bedroom culture,boys engage in deviant behaviour on streets.
  • Women are socially controlled out in public (not just at home) in fear of not being seen as respectable. Dress, makeup, way of speaking and behaviour expectations that are flouted gves girls a certain 'reputation' - women wearing short skirts = slags
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women commit crime

Women crime stats on up  - are women commiting more crime or its being reported? officla state arent always valid and reliable.

Female crimes like shoplifting arent always reported.

Chilvary Thesis

  • Women more likely to be given shorter or lighter punishment (Gov 2013: women 3x more liely to be fined or given community service than men)
  • Thesis argues CJS is more leinent to women as boys socialised to act in a polite and respectful way toward women.
  • Thus their crimes are less likely to nd up on official stats
  • Flood - Page et al: self reported female offenders: 1/11 were cautioned compared to 1/7 men
  • [AO2] hotly debated: women stats on up - CJS being more fair? Also evidence to suggest women are doubly punished - one for crime and second for going against their natural roles
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Whil functionalists and official statistics show women commit less crime, other factors appear to suggest they dont.

The Liberation Thesis

  • Alder: as women become more liberated from patriarchal bonds their crimes will become as frequent and as serious as mens.
  • Eg. between 1950s-90s female share of crime rose from one in 7 to one in 6: the gap is closing.
  • Women use drugs and alcholol in public as well - not just in private

Ethnicity and crime

Arguably the gap between ethnic groups is bigger and more important than gender - while blck people make up on 3% of total population they make up 15% of the prison popuation and are 7x more likely to be stopped and searched by the polive (racist policing not sexist policing)

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