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Flashcards in Gender and Crime Deck (42):

Which gender are likely to be repeat offenders?



Which gender are more likely to commit violent or sexual crimes?



Which gender are more likely to commit property crimes (except burglary)?



What are the two arguments put forward by sociologists in support of the view that statistics underestimate the amount of female offending as against male offending?

1) Typically female crimes such as shoplifting are less likely to be reported
2) Even when women's crimes are detected or reported, they are less likely to be prosecuted or, if prosecuted, more likely to be let off lightly


What is the chivalry thesis?

The argument that most criminal justice agents - police, magistrates, judges - are men, and men are socialised to act in a chivalrous way towards womwn


What does the chivalry thesis believe about official statistics and why?

They under-represent female crime because men are less likely to prosecute or arrest women


What evidence did Graham and Bowling find that supports the chivalry thesis?

They found that although males were more likely to offend, the difference was smaller than that recorded in official statistics


What did Hood's study of over 3,000 defendants find?

That women were about 1/3 less likely to be jailed in similar cases to men.


What did Farrington and Morris' study find that goes against the findings of Hood's study, and so goes against the chivalry thesis?

That in his study of 408 cases of theft in a magistrates' court he found that women were not sentenced more leniently for comparable offences


Give 2 criticisms of the chivalry thesis.

1) Box's review of self-report studies concludes that women who commit serious offences are not treated more leniently
2) Women offenders are more likely to show remorse, this may help to explain why they receive a caution instead of going to court


What do many feminists argue about the criminal justice system?

That it is biased against women


When does Heidensohn argue that the courts treat females more harshly?

When they deviate from gender norms


How does Heidonsohn argue that the courts present double standards?

Courts punish girls for promiscuous behaviour, but do not punish boys


What does Carlen argue about why women are jailed?

She says that women are judged by the court's assessment of them as wives, mothers and daughters, less for the seriousness of their crime


Where do feminists believe that patriarchy is seen most in cases?

In rape cases


How are women victimised in rape cases?

By being blamed for the rape themselves


What does Walklate argue about rape cases?

That it is not the defendant that is on trial, but the victim, since she has to prove her respectability in order to be believed.


How does Parson's sex role theory explain deviance in boys?

- Men take the instrumental, breadwinner role which is performed largely outside the home.
- This means that boys do not have easy access to a male role model
- This leads to boys engaging in 'compensatory compulsory masculinity' through aggression and anti-social behaviour


According to Cohen, what does the lack of an adult male role model mean for young boys?

That they are more likely to turn to all-male street gangs as a source of masculine identity


How does the sex role theory suggest that women remain passive?

Because they perform the expressive role and stay at home, taking the main responsibility for socialising children, this allows young girls to identify with their mother and so leads to them being effectively socialised


Why does Walklate criticise the sex role theory?

Because Parsons assumes that because women have the biological capacity to bear children, that they are better suited to the role


What does Heidonsohn argue is the reason as to why women commit less crime?

Patriarchal control


What are the three types of control that Heidonsohn talks about?

1) Control at home
2) Control in public
3) Control at work


How are women controlled at home that prevents them from committing crime?

- Women's domestic role is a constant round of childcare and housework and this imposes severe restrictions on time and reduces their opportunities to offend
- Women who try to reject their domestic role may find that their partners try to force it on them, perhaps through domestic violence
- Men also exercise control through financial means, through denying women money for leisure activities


How are women controlled in public?

- Women are controlled in public through the threat of male violence against them, for example women avoid going out at night to avoid attack
- Sensationalist media reporting of rapes adds to women's fear
- Females are also controlled in public through fear of being deemed as not respectable


How are women controlled at work?

- Women's behaviour is controlled at work by male supervisors and managers, e.g. sexual harassment is widespread and helps to keep women in their place
- Women's subordinate position prevents them from engaging in major criminal activity at work, the 'glass ceiling' prevents many women from rising to a senior position where there is greater opportunity to commit fraud


How does Carlen explain female crime?

Working-class women are led to conform through the compromise of two deals - the class deal and the gender deal - and if these deals do not follow through, women commit crime


Explain the class deal

Women who work will be offered material rewards, with a decent standard of living and leisure activities


Explain the gender deal

Patriarchal ideology promises women material and emotional rewards from family life by conforming to the norms of a conventional domestic gender role


What did the women who did not receive the class and gender deal come to the conclusion of?

That 'crime was the only route to a decent standard of living. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain'.


What does Carlen conclude about female crime?

That poverty and being brought up in care or an oppressive family were the two main causes of their criminality


What does Messerschmidt see crime and deviance as?

Resources that men use to display their masculinity


How do white middle-class youths demonstrate masculinity?

- They have to subordinate themselves to teachers in order to achieve a middle-class status
- They gain masculinity outside of school by drinking, pranking and vandalising


How do white working-class youths demonstrate masculinity?

- Less chance of educational success so they display masculinity inside and outside of school
- Their masculinity is constructed around sexist attitudes, being tough and opposing teachers' authrities


How do black lower-class youths demonstrate masculinity?

- Have few expectations of a reasonable job
- Use gang membership and violence to express their masculinity


Who talks about the liberation thesis?



What does Adler say that women's liberation has led to?

A new type of female crime and a rise in the female crime rate


Changes in the structure in society have led to what changes in women's offending?

Women have begun to adopt traditionally 'male' role in both legitimate and illegitimate activity


What crimes do women no longer commit?

Traditionally 'female' crimes, such as shoplifting and prostitution


Why have women stopped committing 'female' crimes?

Because of their greater self-confidence and assertiveness, and the fact that they now have greater opportunities in the legitimate structure


What evidence supports the liberation thesis?

Between the 1950s and the 1990s, the female share of offences rose from 1 in 7 to 1 in 6


Give 3 criticisms of the liberation thesis

1) The female crime rate began rising in the 1950s, long before women's liberation in the 1960s
2) Most female criminals are working-class, the group least likely to be influenced by women's liberation, which had benefitted middle-class women much more
3) Women are branching out into more typically male crime, such as dealing with drugs, however this is usually because of their link with prostitution, a highly 'unliberated' offence