In this essay I am going to be assessing the patterns of crime committed by males and females, I will be looking into explanation of female conformity, explanations of female crime and male crime and finally if the law is sexist i.e. does chivalry exist. Official statistics claim that gender is a very important factor contributing towards crime as they show that women are less like to commit criminal behaviour or put in prison then men, this is supported by the fact that 80% of offenders are male, this can be due to many factors such as the biology in men which may lead to increased violence and stereotypes that may affect crimes reported, I will later assess these issues. Males are also more likely to reoffend and be serious sex offenders. However we must be aware that these official statistics are not accurate due to the selective law enforcement, where men are targeted more often as they fit the stereotype of a criminal which leads onto the chivalry factor where men have protective attitudes towards women.
Assess Sociological Explanations for Gender Differences in Crime and Deviance Official crime statistics show that men much more likely to commit crimes than women and there is also a difference in the types of crimes each gender is more likely to commit – women committing shoplifting and men committing more violent crimes. There have been numerous different explanations for gender differences in crime including the chivalry thesis, sex role theory, control theory, and the liberation thesis. However, the official crime statistics are largely questioned by sociologists because it has been argued that they only show the criminal justice system’s view that men are more likely to commit the crimes and therefore they look more for male criminals rather than female ones. The chivalry thesis argue that these official statistics are unrepresentative due to the fact that most of the criminal justice agents – such as police officers, judges or magistrates – are men and they are more likely to treat women in a chivalrous way and therefore be more likely to convict men than women. The main idea of the chivalry thesis is this prospect that men are socialised to act in a way more chivalrous – or gentlemanly – toward women so they end up convicting men more than women.
The media portray criminals and victims as older and more middle class than those found typically in the criminal justice system. Felson (1998) calls this the age fallacy. Media coverage exaggerates police success in clearing up cases. This is partly because the police are a major source of crime stories and want to present themselves in a good light and partly because the media over represent violent crime which has higher clear up rates than property crime. The media exaggerate the risk of victimisation especially to women, higher status individuals and whites.
But due to poor educational achievement and low paid manual work they are unable to gain these goals. An example of this is Willis’ 12 lads and their ‘anti-school’ subculture. The strain makes working classes experience ‘status frustration’ due to the lack of power, respect and prestige that they receive and therefore they seek this through illegitimate means such as joyriding. This suggests that criminal gangs develop for more reasons than financial gain. From this it is clear that Albert Cohen agrees with the subculturalist view of crime being a collective activity.
Right realists believe that crime is not a social construction as other theories such as the labelling theory believe they believe it is a real problem. Official statistics show an increase in violence against the person’s offences of 1% and an increase of 25% in sexual offences against girls. Right realists state crime destroys communities as well as threatens work ethic in today society, this view is shared with neo conservatives. As stated in item A James Q Wilson states that crime is a result of biological differences, some people are more biologically predisposition to commit crime. Eysenck’s personality theory states criminal behaviour is a result of genetics and the nervous system.
This included, Too much integration increased altruistic suicides because people were over committed to their society they would commit suicide for it, for example, suicide bombers. In contrast , societies with little integration had egoistic suicide as people did not feel like part of something’ Durkheim suggested that this was why suicide was more common in protestant countries as they have few shared rituals compared to catholic ones so feel less integrated. Fatalistic suicide occurs in countries where behaviour is too controlled, like a prison this
Rather than focusing on social situations, the criminal and deviant act, the interactionists focused on the reaction to the act and its effects on the deviant individual. One main possible criticisms of interactionist theory is that to some extent ignores and privatisation and its effect on crime. Can negative labelling be the only reason that crime is predominantly more in working class area than in middle class ones? The “new criminology” was a radical development of traditional Marxist theory (Young, Walton and Taylor) they attempted to combine the process of labelling with Marxist explanations of social inequality to explain crime. A criticism of both the original interactionists and the new criminology came from the “New Left Realists”
Research Methods I did the research to answer my questions by informally asking open ended and yes or no questions. I interviewed two males and two females between the ages of eighteen and twenty four. I also asked two males and two females between the ages of thirty to fifty. I decided to not use any age groups higher than fifty because rape culture is such a recent concept it would skew my results to have results from people who did not know what it was or were biased towards gender stereotyping. While it is good to have diversity in results, that much of it would have an opposite effect on my findings because rape culture is happening even if those of older generations do not know what it is.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations for differences in the patterns of offending between males and females. As Item A states, men commit a considerable amount of crime as opposed to women according to official statistics. Moreover men tend to commit different types of crime than women offenders eg It is more common for men to be convicted of violent and sexual crimes than women, who tend to commit crimes such as shoplifting and prostitution. In addition to there have been many sociological explanations put forward when looking at the differences in patterns of offending between males and females. Women are often seen as the victims of crimes rather than the perpetrator, official crime statistics
This means 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. This could be because the statistics of crime are so male dominated; a police officer may not think convicting a woman of petty theft is worth it. Similarly, men are more likely to be convicted of theft because the criminal justice system seemingly victimises males over females, while it is probably more likely that males are more likely to commit crime than females, the gap between the crime rates according to gender may not be as large as first assumed. 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