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Gender differnces in Crime

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Introduction

Outline and assess sociological explanations of genders differences in patterns of crime 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 mask 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 Social, biological, economic, and psychological explanations have been used to develop theories to explain why women commit crime, as well as why they commit less crime than men. ...read more.

Middle

However surveys such as the Islington Crime Survey, are seen with a more positive evaluation of women being the victim in crime, mainly in the inner city areas though. Alder suggest that female liberation has resulted in increasing levels of female criminality and has spawned new and more serious types of female criminals. The chivalry thesis puts forward the view that women are treated more leniently in front of judges than males, which may contribute to a difference in criminal statistics, causing a sway toward males. However researchers have found now supporting evidence for this and dismiss the idea. Steven Box, concludes that the weight of evidence on women committing serious offences and being sentenced for them, does not give clear enough support to suggest that women get of 'lightly' compared to males offenders. Box argues that the female criminal statistics are in fact accurate reflections. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many women are seen to be on the domestic stage, with little access to positions of power, for example, in a co-corporation or businesses, where 'white collar crime' / fraud may be apparent. Other reasons may be, the fact that females go through a different socialisation period, ascertaining different values, norms etc (explained by sub-cultural theorists e.g. Miller) Stereotypes scattered throughout society by the media, tend to influence law enforces attention. Croall suggest that similarly to male crime, females may be motivated to commit crime to obtain clothing etc in hope of expressing their identity. Some theorists simply commit to the idea that just like males, female deviants are in search of excitement, 'Cellinson 1996, 'risk taking desires' In conclusion, we are left with the question; Do women really commit less crime than men? In my opinion, without concrete evidence which suggests otherwise, I believe that men do commit more crime than women. However, through my understanding and exploration of theoretical explanations of gender patterns in crime, I do agree female criminal statistics are underrepresented. ...read more.

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