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Flashcards in Gender, Crime And Justice Deck (14)
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What are some gender patterns in crime?

Four out of five convicted offenders are male.

Women are most likely to be involved in property offences (apart from burglary) a whilst males are convicted of violent or sexual offences.


Do women commit more crimes?

Some sociologists argue that female crime is less likely to be reported which skews statistics.

Female crimes are less likely to be prosecuted for crimes e.g women shoplifting reported and prosecuted less than male shoplifting.


What is the Chivalry thesis?

This is the idea that women are less likely to be charged for their offence, this is because the criminal justice system is ran by majority men who are taught to act chivalrously towards women.

Pollark argues that men have a protective attitude towards women meaning they are less willing to arrest or charge them, their crimes are also less likely to end up in official statistics giving an invalid picture that under represent female crime.


What evidence exists for the chivalry thesis?

Self-report studies suggest that female offenders are treated more leniently.

Graham and Bowling found that young males were 2.33 more time likely to admit having committed an offence this compares to official statistics which suggest that the figure is more like 4 time more likely.


Evidence against the chivalry thesis?

Farrington found that women who commit serious offences are not treated more favourably than men.

Farrington also witnessed twice as many males shoplifting than official statistics suggest.

Crimes of the powerful are largely men.


What do feminists argue about the chivalry thesis?

Feminists argue that the CJS is not biased in favour of women, women are treat extremely poorly when convicted of crimes that differ from gender norms of motherhood and heterosexuality

Carlen found that Scottish courts were much more likely to jail women with children in care than women who were seen as good mothers.


What are the 3 explanations for why women DO commit less crimes?

Sex role theory

Control theory

Liberation thesis


What is the functionalist sex role theory?

Parsons argues that girls have feminine, gentle and emotional gender roles that reduce crime.

Boys have aggressive and competitive masculine gender roles that encourage crime.

The absence of Male role models in matrifocal families leads to boys seeking alternative status from crime whilst girls continue to becoming caring being socialised by their mothers.


Heindensohn patriarchal control theory-

Patriarchal society imposed greater control over women giving them less opportunities to offend.

This is through control in the home confines them to the home for long periods

Men impose this risk through domestic violence etc.

Daughters are also at risk of this control meaning many girls develop bedroom cultures rather than street gangs.

Also through control in public - Women are concerned about sexual abuse outside of the home so remain quite and submissive.

Controls at work- the glass ceiling prevents women from top levels of senior management where there are opportunities for white collar crime.


Hirschis control theory -

Carlen uses His control theory arguing that women are given deals for confirming to norms.

Class deal - Women who work will have a high standard of living

The gender deal - Women who conform to conventional family roles will gain material and emotional rewards of family life.

39 working class women in Carlene study demonstrate that these women hadn’t adapted to the deals as many of the criminals in his study had failed to get s job because of patriarchy or experienced domestic violence in the family.


What is the liberation thesis?

Adlers liberation thesis argues that as women break free of patriarchy their crime patterns become more like that of men’s

As women are in top levels they have more capability to create criminal activity.

Adler argues this is true as women’s proportion of total crime has been increasing.

Criticism includes that working class women who are most likely to offend are not being influenced by liberation.


What are the trends in females and violet crime?

Many new trends appear to provide evidence for the liberation thesis, however other evidence may suggest that there has been no change in women’s involvement in violent crime.

In the USA Schwartz found that the increase in official statistics was not matched by self report studies.

Many argue that the increase in female crime rates is because of net widening where women are being convicted of smaller crimes.

Young calls this trend defining deviance up, this makes it appear like women are becoming more criminal which is leading to CJS labelling and a growing moral panic about laddettes

This creates an amplification spiral negative coverage creates tougher stance which increases prosecutions and increase moral panic.


How does Gender and victimisation vary?

Victim surveys show that men are more likely victims of homocide but more women are at risk of intimate violence.

Ten times more women have been sexually assaulted, but only 8% have reported it to the police.

Women have a greater fear of crime but the CSEW shows they are at lesser risk.


Why do men commit more crime?

Messerschmidt - accomplishing masculinity- masculinity is an accomplishment for men and have to constantly present it so become involved in criminal activity to act hard etc.