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Gender, Crime And Justice Essay

1157 words - 5 pages


Gender patterns in crime
* Most crime appears to be committed by males
* Heidensohn: gender differences are perhaps the most significant feature of recorded crime
* Higher propotion of female than males offenders are convicted of propert offences. Most males are convicted of violence/sexual offences
* Males are more likely to repeat offenders and commit more serious crimes

Do women commit more crime?
They underestimate the amount of females as against females offending
* Females crimes such as shoplifting are less likely to be reported
* Even when women’s crimes are detected or reported, they are less likely to be prosecuted

The ...view middle of the document...

Sex role theory
2. Control theory
3. Liberation thesis

1. Functionalist sex role theory
* Socialisation of males and females; boys encouraged to be tough and risk taking
* Talcott Parsons: gender roles in the conventional nuclear family (men take the instrumental role and women expressive role)
* Boys reject feminine models of behaviour expressing emotion, and engage compensatory compulsory masculinity
* Status is earned by acts of toughness, risk-taking and delinquency
* New Right: absence of male role model, boys turning into criminal Street gangs (status and identity)

* Sandra Walklate: bilogical assumptions; because women have the biological capacity to bear children, they are best suited to the expressive role
* Ultimately base don biological assumptions about sex differences
* Feminists argue this is due to the patriarcal nature of society

2. Patriarchal control: Heidensohn
Patriarchal society imposes greater control over women and this reduces their opportunities to offend
* Control at home:
-Parsons: women’s domestic role (housework and childcare);
-women who try to reject their domestic role may find their partners impose if by force.
- Dobash and Dobash: many violent attacks result from men’s dissatisfaction with their wives
-Heidensohn: girls have a ‘bedroom culture’, so have less opportunity to engagae in deviant behaviour on the streets
-Farrington and Painter: study, female offenders more likely to have had harsh parenting
* Control in public:
-Threat or fear of male violence against them (sexual violence)
-Reputation by the way they dress-up and ways of speaking
-Sue Lees: boys maintain control through sexualised verbal abuse
* Control at work:
-Sexual harassment
-Women’s subordinate position reduces their opportunities to engage in criminal activity
-Patriarchal restrictions means have fewer opportunities for crime
Carlen: class and gender deals
* Hirschi: argues that humans act rationally and are controlled by being offered a ‘deal’: rewards in return for conforming social norms.
* Working class women:
* The class deal: the women who work will be offered material rewards; decent standards of living
* The gender deal: patriarcal ideology promises women material and emotional rewards (conventional domestic gender role)
* If these rewards are not available, crime becomes more likely
* Crime was the only route to a decent standard of living

Heidensohn and Carlen’s approaches are a combination of feminism + control theory:
* Heidensohn: the many patriarcal controls that help prevent women from deviating
* Carlen: failure of patriarcal society to deliver the promised delas to some women removes the controls that prevent them from offending
* Both can be accused of seeing woman’s behaviour as determined...

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