The application of feminism to the field of criminology can be quite uncommon; indeed, in criminology it is men who supply the essential “standard case”. Until recently, criminology has been primarily focused on men and crime with little reference to women.
Feminist criminology developed in the late 1960´s and into the 1970´s, was closely associated with the emergence of the second Wave of Feminism at this time.
In other words, the facts about crime tend to be based on the sex of the offender and not the crime itself.
The “maleness” of crime is true of the United States of America, Great Britain, Australia, all western and eastern countries etc…indeed, we must admit that men are the vast majority of violent and non-violent offenders (according to statistics).
Ngaire Naffine, the author of the book: Feminism and criminology explains that “crime is also something that men are expected to do because they are men and women are expected not to do because they are women”.
Crime, men and masculinity have a relationship but we may wonder if the stereotypes of the women as deviant and law-abiding sex are not going to be faded. Indeed, crimes are going against their natural biology such as passivity and purity; women are seen as weak and in need of protection while being judged as having uncontrollable behavior or sexuality.
It raises the following questions: why, women, with increased status and power begin to commit criminal offences that have traditionally been committed by men? What makes women commit fewer crimes than men? What is the treatment of female offenders by the criminal justice system?...
The impact of femininity on criminal behavior and criminology's world view can be developed and explained through two parties: the women as offenders (I) and the explanations of the violent behavior of women (II).
[...] Feminist criminology developed in the late 1960´s and into the 1970´s, was closely associated with the emergence of the second Wave of Feminism at this time. In other words, the facts about crime tend to be based on the sex of the offender and not the crime itself. The “maleness” of crime is true of the United States of America, Great Britain, Australia, all western and eastern countries etc indeed, we must admit that men are the vast majority of violent and non-violent offenders (according to statistics). [...]
[...] While still a relatively small proportion of all offences, violence has increased at a faster rate than crime against property and other offences. The increase has been slightly greater among women than men, largely because the numbers of women committing violent offences is proportionately so small. While there has been an increase in violent crimes by women, the numbers of women convicted of violence remains still well below that of men, and the majority involves minor assaults Twenty years ago, Freda Adler (1975) argued that the women's liberation movement would result in greater equality between the sexes and predicted an increase in aggressive criminal behaviour by women. [...]
[...] Biological differences between males and females were assumed to be a reason for the crime rate differential. Differences in socialization were also thought to produce aggressive and independent males and passive, dependent, and conventional females (Artz, 1998). The increase in female violence was attributed to the perpetrators' renunciation of femininity and the adoption of masculine characteristics and values. The women's movement, which fostered assertiveness and was said to encourage young women to adopt certain "male behaviours" (drinking, stealing, and fighting), was blamed as well (Freda Adler 1975). [...]
[...] Pollak in 1950 published The Criminality of Women, which characterized female offenders as sneaky, deceitful, vengeful, and unemotional. He claimed, for example, that they prefer professions like maids, nurses, teachers, and homemakers so they can engage in undetectable crime. He thought they were especially subject to certain mental diseases like kleptomania and nymphomania. (www.encarta.com) Recent theories: In 1975, two books, Adler's Sisters in Crime and Simon's Women and Crime proposed that the emancipation of women and increased economic opportunities for women allowed women to be as crime-prone as men. [...]
[...] The place of women in realist criminology is deeply traditional; they are there to receive protection and consequently vulnerable to crime (usually they are victim). But, firstly, according to statistics and researches, women are involved in more violent crime than they were a decade ago and are convicted in different way. For example, a girl who, in self-defence, shoves her parents out of the way as she tries to run away is now likely to be arrested for assault, a criminal offence; previously, she would have been arrested for the lesser status offence of running away. [...]
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