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

Examine some of the reasons why females may be less likely than males to commit crimes

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine some of the reasons why females may be less likely than males to commit crimes (12 marks) A number of sociologists have offered explanations as to why females may be less likely than males to commit crimes. Explanations have been offered through Merton's Strain theory, Labelling theory, Liberal feminists, Radical feminists, Interactionist feminists, Postmodernist feminists, and Heidensohn's explanation of social control to suggest the reasons why women are less criminally inclined. According to Merton's Strain theory society tends to overemphasise the achievements of goals without paying sufficient attention to the means. The pressure to succeed and obtain momentary wealth is so strong that some groups particularly the working class, will turn to illegitimate means to obtain these goals. However, Eileen Leonard argues that women's goals are relational, not financial as they are more concerned with relationships than financial success. For example women's goals tend to be more personal, i.e. to be a good mum and wife. In the words of Leonard: 'women have low aspirations and their goals are extremely accessible.' Though, postmodernists would argue that in this modern age, with the introduction of women's rights and equal pay; women have become more financially focus, thus partaking in crimes such as corporate crime for financial gain. ...read more.

Middle

access to paid employment. This suggests that liberal and radical feminist ideas only offer a partial view on crime and deviance. Interactionist feminists reject all these explanations, seeing them as little more than a social construction. They point out that females are under-represented in the statistics and therefore the statistics do not present an accurate picture of the social distribution of criminality, which may mean that women don't in fact commit crime less. Interactionist feminists share Becker's (1963) idea that the social distribution of crime and deviance is dependent on processes of social interaction between the deviant and powerful agencies of social control. Interactionist feminists suggest that females are less likely to be policed and labelled deviant than males. Perhaps this is because of sexism and chivalry within the police. Official statistics indicate that women in all age groups appear to commit far less crime than men. This may be due to leniency towards female offenders, also known as the 'chivalry' thesis. Campbell (1981) conducted a self-report study and found that female suspects were more likely than male suspects to be cautioned rather than prosecuted. The rate of male: female juvenile offending was 1.33: 1.0 rather than the official figure of 8.95: 1.0, suggesting that women may not be committing less crime but rather that they are being punished less (Police let women off (Mott/Kalven & Zaesel), which then influences the official statistics. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, being victims of crime themselves they come to fear crime and thus being unwilling to partake in crime themselves. The relatively low levels of female Asian offending can be partly explained by higher levels of surveillance and social control experienced within the family. Similarly, white majority female youth are more likely to be raised in homes with both parents than their black female peers - and this type of family profile is statistically associated with lower rates of juvenile offending. Functionalists would argue that women commit less crime because of the way they are socialised. Women are socialised to respect the cultural and social values and norms. Obeying the law is a social norm, therefore, women are socialised to adhere to the law. This means that women tend to commit less crime than men who are socialised differently. In conclusion, despite these explanations offered for why women commit less crime than men, the area of gender and crime remains one that is largely understudied and neglected in the sociological world. It is strange that giving women's backgrounds they are still less likely than men to commit crimes seeing as how more women live in poverty than men. Yet is seems the explanations all boil down to the differences in the way women and men fear the consequences of crime and risk-taking. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Her research showed that women were more to just be cautioned for the offences of which they were found guilty as opposed to men. In 1996, males were 64 times more likely to be found guilty and cautioned than women.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The chivalry thesis claims that women will be treated more leniently for committing certain ...

    4 star(s)

    It is also possible that female occurrences of shoplifting, as Pollak argues, never even come to the attention of the authorities, again because more often than not they are not reported. Farrington and Morris (1983) which involved a study of 'sentencing' in Magistrates courts.

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Late modern society is thus a high crime society with a low tolerance of crime. The final part of the left realist project is to devise solutions to the problems of crime. They argue we must improve both policing and control and deal with the deeper structural causes of crime.

  2. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    Jobs they could gain would produce feelings of exploitation and inequality. The outsiders label them deviants, and due to having a lack of money conform to the label. The state will be concerned about the delinquency and invoke any possible laws.

  1. Durkheims study of suicide has been criticised on theoretical and methodological grounds. Outline Durkheims ...

    such things as the location and circumstances of death, mode of death, life history and whether a suicide note was left to be vital 'clues' in a coroners decision.

  2. Why are women less inclined towards deviancy and crime than men?

    (Jones; 2000:87) In contrast, Pollock (1950) thought that female crime was in fact similar to that of males. He argued that official statistics on gender and crime were highly misleading. Because the police, magistrates and other law enforcement officials tend to be men, women were treated more leniently because of their stereotypical views about how a woman should behave.

  1. crimes committed by males and females

    These characteristics may arise from biological differences. It is believed that women are innately different from men, with a natural desire to be caring and nurturing, characteristics which involves having values that do not support crime. On the other hand men are known to possess more dominant and aggressive characteristics.

  2. Why do people commit crime?

    are either illegal or considered illicit by certain parties, and which can be conducted through global electronic networks?. It has a technological classification as an old crime using new tools, but the legal classification involves cyber-pornography, cyber-violence, cyber-trespass and cyber-deceptions.

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