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

Assess the Sociological explanations of the differing patterns of male and female criminality.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Amanda Simms 2.07 Assess the Sociological explanations of the differing patterns of male and female criminality. A psychological explanation for criminality by Eysenck states that those who commit crime have inherited this disposition genetically. The personality of these delinquents is that they are often extrovert. Eysenck argues that this leads to crime as these individual?s are less socialised and internalised to societies norms. Eysenck came to this conclusion from analysing a relationship between inmates, showing a relationship between criminality and personality traits. However, a limitation of Eysenck?s work is that it is only studying criminals that have been caught, therefore generalising the findings from particular group of delinquents to all criminals. Also, his work was carried out on Male prisoners. Therefore, does not have any validity in terms of explaining women?s criminality. The differing rates between male and female criminality are due to the fact that women?s criminal activity is often underrepresented in crime statistics. There are many theories as to why women are underrepresented; such as they may not commit as much crime e.g. the opportunity thesis. Or those women get let off with crime, for example the chivalry factor. This issue of low rates of women?s criminality has mainly been addressed by feminism as they have seen it as a trend of malestream bias. ...read more.


Women are seen to be the role of the mother so is therefore more caring and nurturing on the whole. This idea can be applied to everyday practice such as speeding. Women can escape speeding tickets by arguing that they were late picking the kids up from school etc. The officer is more likely to be chivalrous towards the lady. Also, when women are seen to commit more vicarious crimes they are often looked upon more harshly. An example of this is Maxine Carr or Myra Hindley. However, contrary to this NSPCC in 1980 found that men still committed the majority of violence within the home. This suggests that the chivalry factor must not exist, unless it applies to both genders, as men are still sneaky in that they still get away with abusing women and children. Also, Heidensohn argues that women-hiding childbirth and menstruation is culturally specific, as it does not happen universally. Therefore, the idea of the ?masked offender? is incoherent. She also argues that the main factor in relation to gender and crime is the society expectations towards the role of the offender. For example, women who are sexually promiscuous are seen to be deviant and are more likely to custodial sentences. ...read more.


Due to consumerist society persuading the individual that the ?good life? is in the form of luxury goods, then many of Carlen?s participants could not find legitimate ways to live, and therefore turned to crime. She also argues that for many women like those in her research the gender deal has been broken. Patriarchal society sets up a deal those women should aspire to gaining the love of a man and tacking on the role of ?domestic morality?. However, for those in her research their fathers had sexually abused many. And had no notion of gaining the affection of a man purely for domestic gain. However, Carlen found valid data from her research into female criminality. She used a small sample and many participants coming from the same social class. Therefore her findings cannot be generalised to the wider population. Her research has given insight into the effects of marginalization on female criminality. However it has not explained the difference in male and female patterns of crime. The most plausible explanation to the differing patterns in male and female crime is that female crime is under reported and under represented. Heidensohn gives the most reasonable explanation to the under representation of female crime statistics. Both Carlen and Heidensohn use the notion of control over women and show how criminality is a result of a deal been broken. ...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

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. Assess The Contribution Of Control Theory To Our Understanding Of Crime And Criminality

    The use of scientific techniques was important to the positivists. Data was collected in order to explain different types of individuals and social phenomena. Naturalists and anthropologists formed the theory of evolution, which was a very critical component to the study of human criminal behaviour by the positivists.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.

    Matza argues that we all hold two levels of values. The values that guide us most of the time are respectable and conventional. But at times, underlying values of sexuality, greed and aggressiveness emerge. These values are generally held under control - all of us hold them back - but occasionally, all of us get taken over by them.

  1. Outline and Assess Sociological Explanations of Gender Differences in Crime Rates.

    Of male offenders, 35% were cautioned and 65% were convicted compared starkly to 56% of women cautioned and only 44% convicted. Hillary Allen in 1989 shows how statistics showed that 73% of women were given fines in motoring offences compared to 54% of men, because the men faced harsher penalties.

  2. Free essay

    Assess sociological explanations of the different crime rates of men and women.

    Therefore we can see that the role of socialization (a part of sex-role theory) provides at least some explanation as to why there are different crime rates between men and women. Abbot and Wallace, however, claim that young women are more closely watched by their families and are given less freedom outside the home - reducing their opportunities for crime.

  1. Outline and Assess Sociological Approaches to Social Control Within Crime and Deviance

    He notes how the state has now started to hand over some of its monopoly of controlling people to these private firms, which has lead to a growth in private prisons. There are currently 11 private prisons operating in United Kingdom, the first opened in the early 1990's.

  2. Sociological explanations for patterns of female crime

    Furthermore, still 80-90% of offenders found guilty or cautioned are male. Consequently, the sex-role theory argues that women are less likely to commit crime than men because there are core elements of the female role that limit their ability and opportunity to do so.

  1. Sociological explanations for patterns in ethnicity and crime

    It's hard for criminals to remain anonymous in close-knit rural communities. Many ethnic minorities live near inner city areas and may be drawn into culture of criminality. If as some sociologists argue, the actions of some police officers are party motivated by racism, then the arrest rates reflect this, rather than offending rates by ethnic minority groups.

  2. Outline and assess feminist explanations for the relationship between gender and crime [50]

    Heidensohn argues that women are controlled in three main arenas and this control means that they are less likely to commit crimes than men. Firstly they are controlled in the home where they still take responsibility for housework and childcare, meaning that they are at home far more often than men.

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