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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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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

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