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Flashcards in Gender And Crime Deck (37)
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What percentage of convicted offenders are male?



What type of crimes are males/females most likely to commit?

Males =

- violent/sexual offences.

- more likely to commit serious crimes.

Females =

- property offences (except burglary).

- prostitution, drug offences.


Why is there a higher proportion of males in prison than females?

Because of the nature of their crimes =

- women commit crimes that are less likely to hold a custodial sentence, so they don't need to be vindictated.


What theories are there for the gender differences in crime?

1). Functionalist sex role theory (women don't commit crime).

2). Heidensohn: patriarchal control (women don't commit crime).

3). Chivalry thesis (women do commit crime).

4). Liberation thesis (women do commit crime).

5). Pat Carlen: class and gender deals (only some women commit crime).


What does the functionalist sex role theory focus on?

Parsons (1955) =

focuses on gender socialisation and role models in the nuclear family.

- women perform the expressive role = girls have a role model but boys reject the feminine traits.


Why does Parsons say boys compensate masculinity with aggression?

Because the father performs the expressive role and they reject the feminine role at home =

- men are largely outside the home.

- so boys compensate masculinity with; risk-taking, aggression and anti-school behaviour.


According to functionalists, why might boys offend?

1). Compensate masculine characteristics =

- aggression; may lead to fights, resulting in assault conviction.

2). A.K. Cohen (1955) =

- absence of a male role model means boys are more likely to turn to street gangs as a source of masculinity.


How do feminists contrast functionalists?

They explain gender differences in offending in terms of patriarchy.

- 2 main feminist approaches; control theory and liberation thesis.


How is the functionalist sex role theory criticised?

Walklate (2003) =

- Parsons assumes that because women are biologically capable of caring for a child, they best suit the expressive role.

- his theory is based on biological assumptions about sex differences.


What does Heidensohn: patriarchal control focus on?

Heidensohn (1985) =

- women commit less crime because patriarchal society has greater control over them.

- this reduces their opportunities to offend.


According to Heidensohn, where does patriarchal control operate?

1). At home.

2). In public.

3). At work.


How does patriarchal control operate at home?

Women's domestic role =

- constant housework and childcare restricts women's time, confining them to the house (dual/triple shift).

- men impose this through the threat of domestic violence and their financial power.


How does patriarchal control at home restrict daughters?

They are expected to do more housework, so they develop a "bedroom culture".


How does patriarchal control operate in public?

1). Fear of male sexual violence =

reports (moral panics) of rape frighten women into staying indoors.

2). Respectability =

make-up, appearance, etc, define a women's reputation.

- going into a bar alone is feared as they may be regarded as 'sexually loose' (bars = site of criminal activity).


How does patriarchal control operate at work?

- Women's subordinate position at work reduces criminal opportunities (e.g. white-collar crimes).

- The 'glass ceiling' =

prevents women rising to senior position, inhibiting white-collar crimes.


What does the chivalry thesis focus on?

1). CJS is more lenient to women because;

- it's agents are male.

- men are socialised to act 'chivalrously' towards women (protect them).


How does Pollak (1950) describe men's chivalrous attitudes towards women?

- Men are protective of omen.

- So, are unwilling to arrest, charge or prosecute them.


What does Pollak say the result of men's chivalrous attitudes are for official crime statistics?

Female crimes are less likely to end up in crime statistics, so, it under-represents female crime.


How is Pollak's argument applied to interactionism?

He suggest females are positively labelled by male agents of social control.


What is the main assumption the chivalry thesis makes about female crime?

That it does happen, however, male agents of social control inhibit their sentences.


Who developed the liberation thesis?

Alder (1975).


What does the liberation thesis focus on?

Less patriarchal control and discrimination, so =

- women's offending will become similar to men's.

- there will be a rise in female crime, as opportunities have become more equal.


What are the criticisms of the liberation thesis?

1). Female crime started rising before the liberation movement began.

2). Most female criminals are w/c = unlikely to be influenced by the movement.


What did Steffensmeier and Schwartz (2009) find about female violent crime?

Increase in official statistics didn't match the findings of victim surveys/self-report studies.


What is meant by 'net widening'?

CJS prosecutes females for more less serious violence than previously.


What does Sharpe and Gelsthorpe (2009) say the trend in UK is towards prosecuting females?

Trend towards prosecuting females for minor offences.


Who's theory supports Sharpe and Gelsthorpe's assumption?

Young (2011) =

- calls this 'defining deviance up' --> catch trivial offences in the net.


How does Worrall (2004) show that female crime is a social construct?

Used to be labelled as 'welfare' issues =

- no been re-labelled as criminal.


What does Sharpe (2009) say the increase of female convictions is due to?

Moral panics =

- found CJS professionals are influenced by media stereotypes of violent 'ladettes'.


How does moral panics of female crime create a deviance amplification spiral?

- Police/CJS take a tougher stance.

- Resulting in more convictions.

- Producing further negative media coverage.