Gender and crime the basics

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Gender and crime the basics

  1. 1. 1 Men commit far more crime than women 2 The gap is closing 3 Women commit different types of crime to men GENDER PATTERNS IN CRIME
  2. 2. HOW MANY FEMALE CRIMINALS CAN WE NAME? GENDER AND CRIME
  3. 3. Female Criminals • Myra Hindley • Baby Peter’s mother Tracey Connelly • Maxine Carr • Rose West • Melissa Reid & Michaella McCollum (The Peru Two)
  4. 4. 5
  5. 5. WHICH TYPES OF CRIME DO WOMEN TYPICALLY COMMIT? • Shoplifting • Receiving stolen goods • Prostitution
  6. 6. Heidensohn (1996) • Gender differences are perhaps the ‘most significant feature of recorded crime’.
  7. 7. USEFUL STATS ON GENDER AND CRIME • 4 out of 5 are convicted offenders in England and Wales are male • By the age of forty 9% of females had a criminal conviction, it was 32% for males • A higher proportion of women are convicted of property crime (except burglary) • A higher proportion of men are convicted of violence and sexual offences • Males are more likely to be repeat offenders and to be convicted of serious crimes • Men are 15 times more likely to be convicted of murder, 5 times as likely for robbery and 8 times as likely for criminal damage • Similar patterns are repeated in other countries
  8. 8. First big question in the study of Gender and Crime – do women really commit fewer crimes, or are the statistics misleading? 1 Typical female crimes like shoplifting or prostitution are less likely to be reported and noticed. Typical male crimes like violence, sex crimes and burglary are much more visible and therefore more 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 relatively lightly
  9. 9. Debate Women get away with crime Versus Women get a raw deal from the Criminal Justice System How do women fare once they are processed by the Criminal Justice System? Is it biased towards or against women?
  10. 10. Non-Sociological explanations for women’s crime have included:- a)Lombroso &Ferrari: criminality is inborn (see picture) b)Moir & Jessel - violent crime can be linked to pre- menstrual tension. c)Eysenck – women criminals are extroverts
  11. 11. There are 3 main SOCIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS for female criminality: 1 Sex Role Theory Boys and girls are socialised into different gender scripts 2 Patriarchal Control Theory /Feminism Women are more controlled in all aspects of life which reduces their capacity to offend. Also Carlen’s notion that when the reward system for female conformity fails (class and gender deal) females are likely to offend 3 Liberation Thesis As patriarchy diminishes women’s participation in crime will increase and women adopt ‘male’ patterns of offending

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