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Choose two criminological theories and critically assess their usefulness in enhancing our understanding of one of the following (a) youth crime (b) gender and crime or (c) race(TM) and crime.(TM)

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Introduction

'Choose two criminological theories and critically assess their usefulness in enhancing our understanding of one of the following (a) youth crime (b) gender and crime or (c) 'race' and crime.' Words - 1, 583 Danielle Mc Fall The purpose of this assignment is to develop a greater understanding of the topic Gender and Crime. To gather this information the assignment will be investigating both Biological and Feminist theories in relation to Gender and Crime. The biological theory will investigate the works of Lombroso, William Shedons and other genetic hypothesises, while the Feminist theory will focus on why the feminist theory was introduced, the differences between criminologists understanding of female criminal behaviour and the problems in studying gender in relation to crime. An explanation for criminal behaviour has been studied since the early 17th century through the works of Beccaria and Betham in the famous Classical theory to the sociological theories of the present day. In this assignment biological and feminist theories will be the main focus in relation to Gender and Crime. Biological theorists and theories concentrate on the relationship between biology and crime. One of the first theorists to develop this concept was an Italian prison psychiatrist called Cesare Lombroso. ...read more.

Middle

Shedon continued by explaining that some individuals where pure types while others were hybrid as they contained two or three of the body types. Sheldon argued that, "delinquents were characterized by a preponderance of mesomorphs, some indication of endomorph, and a marked lack of etcomorphs." Hale et al (2005:666) He also concluded that this pattern differed in non-criminal populations which supported his theory that there were differences in the physical type of criminals and non-criminals. Shedon believed that he could tell if a human being, either male or female was a criminal by investigating his or her body type and personality traits. Another biological theory which had been studied throughout the twentieth century is the Genetic transmission theory which relates to the passing of genes to the next generation. This is the idea that criminals are born from genetic inheritance, simply stated, born with the criminal gene. Several famous studies have been investigated to try in determining this theory. An example is in the 1920's, where a German physician Johannes Lange began the study of twins where their criminal records were contrasted. Another good example is by Raymond Crowe 1974 and Barry Hutchings and Sarnoff Mednicks 1975 study in the criminal development of adopted twins. ...read more.

Conclusion

Feminist theory has enhanced our understanding of gender and crime because it has modernised the thinking of criminology and opened up a whole new gap in the study of criminology. As explained female crimes in the past where neglected and from the analysis female crimes are just as important in enhancing are understanding of criminal behaviour as much as male crimes. Feminist views have given us a proper analysis of why females commit crimes, rather than just overlooking the process. Also feminist approaches have shown the need for reform in the criminal justice system to make laws more equal between men and women. Finally feminist theories and understandings have surely widened the prospect of support systems for female criminals for example counselling because of the further understanding it has developed. Biological theories have also developed our understanding of gender and crime because it gives us a link between scientific approaches for example 'body type' and 'genetic transmission' in understanding both male and female criminal behaviour. Therefore once the nature and extent of this theory is fully discovered reduction in criminal offending is seen as possible through treatment. Even so the biological theory is limited in enhancing our understanding of gender and crime because it gives a rooted consumption that the criminal is always male. Its concept gives a more tradition outlook on the study of criminology. ...read more.

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