Topic 5 - Gender, Crime and Justice

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: 09eatonb
  • Created on: 29-12-15 21:24

Gender Patterns in crime -

  • Crimes committed by mostly men
  • 4/5 convicted offenders are male 
  • higher proportion of females are commited for proporty offences 
  • higher proportion of men are convicted of violent or sexual offences
  • males are more likely to commit more serious crimes 

do women commit less crime?

  • some sociologists say that official statistics underestimate the amount of female offending 
    • Female crimes are less likely to be reported e.g womens soplifting is less liely to be reported than mens violence
    • Even when womens crimes are reported, they are less likely to be prosecuted
  • The Chivalry Thesis - the idea that women are less likely to be prosecuted for their offences - known as the chivalry thesis:
    • The criminal justice system (CJS) is more lenient to women because its agents - police officers, judges, juries - are men who are socialisd to act 'chivalrously' towards women
    • POLLAK (1950) - men have a protctive attitude towards women, s they are unwilling to arrest, charge, prosecute or convict them. Their crimes are less likely to end in the official statistics, giving an invalid picture that under-represents female crime.
  • Evidence for the chivalry thesis:
    • self report studies suggest that females are treated more leniently:
      • GRAHAM AND BOWLING (1995) found that young men were 2.3 times more likely than fmales to admit to having committed an offence in the previous year - whereas official statistics show males as 4 times more likely to offend.
      • Compared with men, women are also more ikely to be cautioned rather than prosecuted
      • HOOD'S (1992) study of 3,000 defendents found that women were 1/3rd less likely to be jailed than men in similar cases.
  • Evidence against the chivalry thesis:
    • FARRINGTON AND MORRIS (1983) study of a magistrates court found that women were not sentenced more leniently for comparable offences. BOX's (1981) review of self-report studies - women who commit serious offences are not treated more favourably than men.
    • BUCKLE AND FARRINGTON's (1984) study of shoplifting witnessed twice as many males shoplifting - despite the fact that numbers of male and female offenders inn the official statistics are roughly equal. This suggests that women shoplifters are more likely to be prosecuted than male shoplifters.
  • Bias against women:
    • FEMINISTS - CJS is not biased in favour of women but biased agaist them - CJS treats women more harshly, especially when they deviate from gender norms.
      • HEIDENSOHN (1996) - double standards of courtspunishing girls, not boys, for promiscuous sexual activity
      • CARLEN (1997) - Scottish courts were much more likely to jail women whos children were in care than women whom they saw as good mothers.
      • WALKLATE (1998) - In **** cases, it is the victim (she) on trial, since she has t prove her respectability in order to have her evidence accepted.
  • Explaining female crime:
    • in general women = lowwer rates of offending than men
    • explanations of behaviour of female offnders:
      • Functionalists Sex Role theory =
        • PARSONS's (1955) - focus on gender socialisation and role models in the nuclear family to explain…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »