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

The chivalry thesis claims that women will be treated more leniently for committing certain crimes, generally shoplifting is often associated more with females than males, but the statistics suggest that males commit many more acts of theft than women, an

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the value of 'chivalry thesis 'in understanding differences in crime. gfg Pollak (1950) was of the opinion that police and magistrates tended to be more 'chivalrous' and 'lenient' towards female offenders, resulting in sentence disparities, and as a result, criminal statistics underestimate the amount of female offending. (Item A). Pollak (1961) argued that men - namely in this case police officers, magistrates and judges, are socialised to be protective towards women and thus are less likely to chare or prosecute them, and are also treated more leniently in court. Pollak goes further to argue that women are accustomed to deceiving men, for example in faking orgasms during sex, or lying in a relationship to gain material wealth. This skill in deceit mean that their crimes, such as poisoning and infanticide, are less easily uncovered (item A) leading to women being underrepresented in criminal statistics. The chivalry thesis claims that women will be treated more leniently for committing certain crimes, generally shoplifting is often associated more with females than males, but the statistics suggest that males commit many more acts of theft than women, and this may be because females are let off with a warning rather than a conviction. ...read more.

Middle

Although these findings may not show the severity of the specific offences. Campbell through self report studies in 1976, of urban schoolgirls, compared to 16 year old males, these sources showed that 1.33 offences were committed by males for every 1.0 for females, this hugely contrasted to 1976 official figures on convictions, which showed 8.95 convictions for every female 1.0. This shows how official statistics can be greatly misleading, that although males may convict more crime, the gulf between the amount of offences shown by statistics, and popular opinion, is not as wide as it seems. Although these studies do give evidence towards the chivalry thesis, the bulk of research does not give this indication. Steven box 1981, reviewed data from self report studies in UK and USA, and concluded that 'the weight of evidence on women committing serious offences does not give clear support to the view that they receive differential and more favourable treatment from members of the public, police or judges'. Although it has to always be remembered that in a self report study, the validity and reliability relies upon the respondent's ability and willingness to tell the truth, which is not always apparent. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frances Hiedensohn 1985 slated the theory greatly, stating that is was based on analysis that had very little evidence and many unsupported assumptions, she regarded it as being based upon an unsubstantiated stereotypical image of women. In conclusion, although some parts of Pollak's chivalry thesis, namely the parts saying women are naturally more likely to conceal crime are quite unsupported and base, studies associated with the theory have hinted that women are often in some cases treated more leniently by the criminal justice system. Although the extent of this cannot really be measured, statistics would have us believe that the gap between male and female criminality is huge, but upon closer investigation this is not the case. Reasons for this may be that criminology and sociology is largely dominated by males that the research is done on males by males, leading to an underrepresentation on female crime, or that perhaps female crimes are comparatively seen as trivial and are not deemed worthy of research. Whichever way it is looked it, there is a case for the argument that females are often not treated as harshly as males upon committing crime, but of course the opposite argument could be valid also. ...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)

Overall this is a really strong essay. The content never drifts from the focus of the question, there is a good even debate on both sides of the discussion and the use of the item has been applied well. The studies applied are also very effective and support the evidence throughout. At times there is opportunity to apply key terms such as iceberg theory or the hidden figure of crime.

Marked by teacher Matthew Wilkin 04/04/2013

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

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

    4 star(s)

    Heidensohn has also said that women are scared to go out in public in fear of being attacked or raped; especially after the dark as shown in the Islington crime survey (1986) where 54 per cent were women and 14 per cent were men.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Police often have a bias against working class delinquent and they will often target low-income estates as it is perceived more crime is committed in an under privileged area. If a fight involving young people breaks out the police see this as evidence of delinquency yet, if the same incident

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Conflict theory posits that the economic organisation of capitalist societies produces deviance and crime. The high rate of crime such as theft, robbery, prostitution, and drug selling are a result of the economic status of these groups. Rather than emphasising values and conformity as a source of deviance as do

  2. The Justice and welfare debate.

    They advocate a return to a justice system that believed in 'equality before the law' a tariff of punishments for certain offences regardless of any welfare considerations. Although this system in many ways would be quite harsh it would however call for 'certain minor offences such as drink, drugs heterosexual or homosexual sex under age be decriminalised' (Muncie J, 2001:270).

  1. How Accurate are Official Crime Statistics?

    Also they are criticised due to the triviality of crimes asked about, they do not mention more serious crimes. They are seen as unrepresentative, as there is no way of checking whether the answers given are truthful and again, the studies have only been given to young people, the results

  2. Why do people bully? The expert on bullying, Professor Dan Olweus of the University ...

    The peer pressure to accept people in life. In the need and pressure to be accepted by others, individuals will do things that they would not usually do to other to be accepted.

  1. Assess the usefulness of realist explanations of crime and deviance

    Jock Young argues that it is combination of relative deprivation and individualism that is the main cause of crime within the modern society. Changes to the economy have meant that there has been a rapid decline in manual jobs leading to unemployment, particularly within young people.

  2. Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science

    Social facts can be directly observed and measured. Positivists look for correlations in Data, and cause and effect relationships. To do this, they use quantitative data and methods such as questionnaires in order to gain trends, patterns and correlation. They also use official statistics, which are objective and reliable.

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