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

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

Extracts from this document...


Outline and Assess Sociological Explanations of Gender Differences in Crime Rates Official statistics show that when it comes to crime statistics, males clearly overshadow any crime committed by females. According to the Home Office in 1997, of people aged 20 years old in the population, fewer than 2% of females were found guilty of an offence compared with 9% of males. This would suggest that somehow statistics often ignore female offenders to a certain degree. However to add to this problem even self-report studies and victimisation studies, which are designed to eleviate the problems with official statistics, show a discernible division in the genders. This can suggest that perhaps it is not just a lack of acceptance of female crime but a difference in the gender constructs. All this has led to sociologists somewhat ignoring females in crime analysis, assuming it is a male phenomenon. So to successfully assess why there are gender differences in crime rates we must first find out why sociology ignores female offenders. Frances Heidensohn in 1989 suggested four reasons why sociology is, malestream, dominated by men. ...read more.


So it is clear that saying women do not commit crime is obviously not viable in answering the question due to the large evidence in favour of the statistics getting the figures wrong. So when do women commit crime and why do they? Although the figures are low in the statistics, women do commit all the same crimes as men. Jones in 1980 stated that women tend to murder husbands and lovers while men tend to murder strangers and friends. This puts sexuality at the forefront of reasons why women are criminal. Jones also said that 'women tend to murder in their own homes and they tend to use kitchen implements. Bringing up another gender issue, that women commit crime within and because of the domestic sphere. Further research shows that women murder in anger or self defence. This all however, is subject to societies views of women as passive and are unable to defend themselves or attack, that is why they commit crime. Some sociologists have suggested reasons why women commit crime. A very contentious reason is biology. Freud argued that women's desire to be men because of their discontentment at being wives and mothers caused them to commit crime. ...read more.


wealth, social and sexual success. So men may be criminal to assert themselves as men, yet Katz in 1988 came up with a different view. Katz claims that we fail to see the pleasure in committing crime. He says we need to see how we get a 'transgression's pleasure from doing evil, i.e. the thrill of shoplifting. He sites an example as robbery where the criminal exerts force and power over the victim. In conclusion it is clear that the gender differences in the crime rates have very complex and valid arguments. I believe that women are compelled to not be criminal through sheer lack of opportunity and they are socially constructed not to be. I find it very hard in this modern period to believe that authorities, no matter how far, can be lenient to criminals due to their gender. I also believe that men commit significantly more crime also because socialisation of the genders. You only have to look at young men in poor areas to see that they commit crime to assert their masculinity, something they cant do through employment because the opportunity it not there. It is clear however that official statistics are limited, so I think it falls to the authorities to find ways of cataloguing criminal behaviour in women more. Kerri Waters ...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)

    Writers such as Heidensohn, Smart and Walkate have all said that women are prosecuted for crime based on their social role in society. Pat Carlen (1997) has also supported this view saying that courts do not sentence women on the seriousness of the crime, but if a woman is single

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Thus the increase in crime statistics is just a social construction, not a reality. However left realists argue the increase is too great to be explained in this way and is a real one; more people are reporting crime because more people are falling victim to crime.

  1. Assess sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates

    Positivists believe that only directly observable 'facts' are acceptable as evidence in sociology, so positivists take the statistics, and the view that working class just do commit more crime than others, at face value. Interpretivists delve deeper and look at the possible reasons for the statistics to give the view

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

    He argues that delinquents are simply more likely to behave according to subterranean values in 'inappropriate' situations. Matza suggests that delinquents use a number of techniques of neutralisation to explain why their delinquent act is an exception. Yes. What I did was wrong but...

  1. Examine the differences between Muslims living in the UK and Muslims living in Saudi ...

    In the UK, both male and female are allowed to mix in the same school. These are mainly primary schools and comprehensive secondary schools. As for primary schools, I wouldn't say there is much of a problem because the children are young and immature and there would be no sexual attraction between them.

  2. Outline and asses sociological explanations of gender differences in the pattern of crime

    He created a test to find out if a person was extroverted or introverted. By studying single mothers and married mothers he found that single mothers, which are more likely to be poorer, are more likely to be criminal. This coheres with functionalist subcultural view on the causes of crime as being for economic purposes.

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

    Cohen points out the sheer scale of the control apparatuses in modern society. There are literally millions of individuals working for the state and other organisations involved in imposing control, and over time, millions have this control imposed upon them.

  2. Poverty and Crime rates

    This shows that jealous rage can cause one to commit any crime for revenge. Crime rates are higher in countries with more poverty since people do not have proper education. Firstly, the education system in poor countries is more weak therefore people in those poor countries are not well educated and do not know what?s wrong and what?s right.

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