• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Asses the arguments and evidence which suggest women commit much less crime than men

Extracts from this document...


Asses the arguments and evidence which suggest women commit much less crime than men The sociology gender of has mostly been focused on women and femininity, but over the recent years men and masculinity has also been studied. Some sociologists believe that gender can be identified as male and female through their organs that produce sex cells and their hormones, enabling women to bear children but not men. There is also the difference of men being physically strong and women being weak. The biological differences in men and women are determined through their behaviour and their roles played in society. For example, men's role is to go out and provide for the family, they're seen as the 'breadwinners', and men are seen as 'housewives', producing children, cooking and cleaning. This may lead to the large-scale view that women commit less crime than men because women are assumed to not having the time and motive to commit crime and men having both. In this essay views from different writers and sociologists will be discussed on gender and crime. For what reasons are women stereotyped and assumed to commit less crime? Can sociological situations affect the crime committed by gender? ...read more.


Although Heidensohn has disregarded Pollack's work, saying he has stereotyped women, there is a possibility that courts are more lenient towards women. Pollack's work has triggered off self-report studies, which have supported his view that males are more likely to be convicted in courts than females. James Messerschmidt (1993) has rejected the view that male and female crime is related to their social position. From looking at the relationship between masculinity and crime, he believes that different types of masculinities lead to different types of social behaviour and crimes; coming up with the theory of 'doing gender'. "Masculinity is accomplished; it is not something done to men or settled beforehand. And masculinity is never static, never a finished product. Rather men construct masculinities in specific social situations (although not in circumstances of their own choosing); in doing so men reproduce (and sometimes change) social structures." Messerschmidt, p.80. He is basically saying that men playing sports, or doing business deals are trying to accomplish masculinity. He has said that masculinity may vary each individual and are determined by someone's class, race and sexual preference. Messerschmidt broke down masculinity into two main groups; hegemonic and subordinated masculinities. ...read more.


However writers like Heidonsohn can use such figures to come to the conclusion that women commit such crimes only when they are in financial difficulty and lose the support of men. From looking at the arguments from different writers about gender and crime, I have come to conclude that the statement 'women commit much less crime than men' is true to some extent. Writers such as Messerschmidt have given men a lea way, saying that men are biologically aggressive and that their masculinities lead them to commit more crime and Pollack has said that the courts are lenient towards women. This view has been contradicted by Smart saying that the courts ere harsh on women. The argument that may come across as strong and accurate is of Heidonsohn, saying that women only commit crimes such as shoplifting and prostitution and the reason being the loss of financial support of men. Statistics reflect on this, where the theft percentages and ratios for female crime have been high over the years. However the view of Adler conflicts the above argument saying that women are now getting more involved in crime, by taking the traditional roles of men in society. Most of the studies carried out by these writers are based on home office statistics, though the validation and accuracy of such figures can be looked at in greater depth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

The content of this essay is strong and refers to all the main key sociologists within the topic of gender and crime. The introductions and conclusions however are a little weak and need to be more defined. The answer also drifts at times into discussing punishment rather than committing crime. Overall: ****

Marked by teacher Matthew Wilkin 10/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the Usefulness of Official Crime Statistics to a Sociological Understanding of Crime

    4 star(s)

    Many of these crimes go unpunished and therefore under reported because of the vast range of enforcement agencies used to monitor these areas. A large number are also settled out of court as it is felt punishment has already been inflicted by the offender losing his job and being subjected to shame from his family and community.

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    When behaviour is no longer regulated by common norms and values, individuals are left without moral guidance. * Anomic suicide occurs when the disintegrating forces in the society make individuals feel lost or alone. Studies of college campuses trace the cause of campus suicides to feelings of loneliness and a sense of hopelessness.

  1. Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use official statistics when conducting their ...

    Using the comparative method, he argued that Protestant and Catholic religions differ in how well they integrate individuals into society. Using official suicide statistics, he was able to show that Protestants had a higher rate of suicide then Catholics, and so was able to argue that this statistical evidence proved his hypothesis correct.

  2. Assess the Sociological explanations of social class differences

    of �40 billion a year, whereas street crimes cost only �14 million. There are some sociologists who try to explain reasons for white-collar crimes. Merton suggested that all members of society face the same success goals. When people in white-collar occupations, find the routes to higher pay and promotion blocked

  1. Assess the view that ethnic differences in crime rates are the result of the ...

    Based on a sample of 2,500 people, Graham and Bowling found that blacks and whites had very similar rates of offending, while Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis had much lower rates. The findings of self-report studies challenge the stereotype of black people as being more likely than whites to offend, they

  2. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    If the individual is not labelled criminal through his deviant behaviours, he may refrain from committing crime. According to Mead, the self image is constructed through social interactions with other people, (Vold, Bernard, Snipes, 2002:263). Lemert, (1951:211) provides a more detailed account of the labelling theory.

  1. describe four studies relating to crime and deviance - each from a different perspective. ...

    (Moore, 1996, page 75) The symbolic interaction perspective became popular in the 1960's and altered the focus of investigation for crime and deviance. Up until this perspective materialised attention was concentrated in the social structure for an explanation for crime and deviance.

  2. Evaluate the contribution of Marxist theories to our understanding of the role and functions ...

    While Parsons agrees with Malinowski, he argues the opposite to Marx, who says religion legitimates exploitation of the working class, by saying that it create and legitimates societies central values, similar to Durkheim?s view on crime and punishment, which creates and reinforces societies boundaries, and religion also aids society in creating these boundaries.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work