Characteristics of feminine offending and victimisation
Previous to the feminist activity of the nineteen sixties and seventies criminology was predominantly the domain of guys as was the Criminal Justice Program (CJS), (Newburn 2007). It is therefore no real surprise that women were generally over looked within these fields. Additionally the few earlier explanations of feminine criminality have finally largely been discredited due to their oversimplified, biological and sexually natured explanations (Lombrosso 1895, Thomas 1923 and Pollak 1950). Nonetheless it is due to these arguably ‘sexist, and male dominated perspectives, and also an otherwise lack of interest in feminine criminality that inspired various modern and feminist writings; these writings bought in regards to a change in attitudes towards females and their place within these typically male professions. Therefore the reliability of police statistics offers been challenged and brand-new ways of gathering info has been developed, such as for example self report research and victim surveys; all of which have brought about fresh debates and theories and features contributed to our understanding of women and criminal offense. This essay will give a brief overview of the qualities of both female offending and victimization and then talk about the contribution that criminology features made to our understanding of them.
As a result of the aforementioned collective research there exists a general contract within criminology that women commit considerably much less crime than guys (although according to law enforcement statistics female crime rates are rising) (Newborn 2007). Women are less likely to commit certain crimes, such as sexual offences, and they are less likely to re-offend (Newborn 2007 and National Statistics Online 2006). The majority of offences that girls commit involve theft and handling stolen merchandise, violence against the individual and medicine offences (National Statistics Online 2006 and Caddle and Crisp 1997).
Criminology has contributed to your knowledge of the characteristics of feminine offending in many ways. Firstly, since the feminist movement, Criminology has targeted attention onto female offending and features helped to deconstruct the original sexist stereotypes of the female offender previously portrayed by traditional criminologists (Lombrosso, 1895, cited in Newburn, 2007). Modern day Criminology has further more developed existing theories to make them applicable to females – such as for example control theory – and has got highlighted how women’s connection with society is different compared to that of males; suggesting that women’s place in culture, i.e. their job, social background and being a mother can all result their inhibitions towards criminal offense and their options to offend (Heidensohn 1996 and Carlen 1988). As a result, Criminology offers helped us to comprehend what sort of women’s individual conditions can effect on whether she’ll offend and what types of offences she is likely to commit.
Criminology has also highlighted the effect that prior victimization and the breakdown of social bonds has on female offending; in her analysis into how women become involved in illicit medicines, Cheseney-lind (1997) found that all of the ladies in her study originated from unstable social environments, i.e. deprivation, parental alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and violence. Other research contain highlighted institutional sexism; Carlen’s 1998 study where she interviewed fifteen Scottish sheriffs about their thesis example thoughts towards prosecuting females offenders, found that they all disliked needing to send women of all ages to prison. Carlen suggests that they solve this uneasiness by discriminating between who they perceived to come to be ‘good’ and ‘bad’ moms and overlook the impact of socio-economic elements on their behavior (cited in Heidensohn 1996). The sheriff’s attitudes in Carlen’s study highlights an extended running debate within Criminology, which can be, are females treated more chivalrously or even more harshly than males by the CJS? (Newburn 2007) It could be argued that the uneasiness of the sheriffs to prosecute ladies factors to a chivalrous frame of mind but the fact that they separate the ladies into ‘good’ and ‘terrible’ mothers shows that the women are staying doubly judged, as both females and mothers. Subsequently Criminology has given us greater understanding of how feminine offending is afflicted by too little family support and interpersonal bonds and arguably how girls are influenced by the double criteria present within the CJS.
By challenging law enforcement recorded statistics Criminology has highlighted different debates, such as for example why do female offending rates look like rising also to what extent do women commit less crime than men? (Newburn 2007). In regards to rising female crime prices there are many perspectives; some argue that it’s because women’s functions are changing in culture gives them greater chance to offend (Adler, cited in Newburn 2007); some declare that it is because of economic marginalisation and women of all ages offend because of deprivation (Carlen 1998) and others advise it is because of improvements in the labelling of crimes which will make for stricter sentencing (Heidensohn 1996). Criminology features incited many debates which have helped to develop a better understanding of the characteristics of female offending.
As due to criminological research, such as the British Crime Study (BCS), we understand that overall women are in less threat of criminal victimisation than men. The sole crimes that women are in a higher risk from is certainly domestic violence and stalking/harassment (though it could be argued that the latter is because of men being less very easily intimidated and less inclined to article those types of crimes). We also understand that the vast amount of the domestic violence experienced by women moves unreported. Finally, although we realize that women are at less risk of crime general, the BCS tells us they have a greater concern with crime than men, and this impacts negatively on their daily lives (Newburn 2007).
Criminology has contributed to your knowledge of the characteristics of feminine victimisation in many ways. Firstly, By challenging police statistics it has got highlighted ‘the dark figure of crime’, showing the vast quantity of crimes that head out either unknown, unreported, or unrecorded; therefore highlighting the vast volume of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape crimes women of all ages suffer, mainly as a result of their husbands, companions or other family members (Heidensohn 1996). The problem of domestic violence is definitely shockingly illustrated in a study carried out by Painter and Farrington (1998), where one in seven wives reported becoming raped by their husbands (cited in Rafter, 2003). Traditionally crimes of domestic violence had been trivialized by the police because of a general acceptance of violence against women of all ages by their companions (Newburn 2007). Criminology has also highlighted the issue of repeat victimization when it comes to women; as a result of nature of the offence do it again victimization rates are high in cases of domestic violence but research also demonstrates women who were abused in childhood are at a higher risk of being victimized in adulthood (Rafter 2003). Therefore, because of Criminology we understand that many more females suffer domestic violence than the police statistics suggest and in addition women who had been abused as children are at a higher risk of getting in an abusive romance in adulthood.
Women’s fear of victimization is usually a debated concern within Criminology, some make clear that it’s because women are ‘the small sex’ and are also easier intimidated and others recommend it is linked to a fear of rape due to socialization and ‘moral panic’, suggesting that it’s irrational (Rafter 2003). Criminology has highlighted women’s experience of criminal offense and the CJS and society’s attitudes towards female victimization (Newburn 2007). Criminology has discovered that women are often accused of precipitating or facilitating crimes against them, such as rape and assault; regarding to life-style theories, how women dress, whether they go out alone and where they best topics to write about go, all participates to their victimization (Rafter 2003). This theory is definitely contradicted by victim survey data which implies that women are at more threat of domestic violence than stranger violence (Newburn 2007).
In regards to women’s treatment within the CJS, criminology possesses highlighted the unfair and un-sympathetic treatment females arguably receive when it comes to becoming victim of such crimes as rape and domestic violence, suggesting that ladies were often subject to ‘secondary victimisation’ due to unsympathetic treatment distributed by the CJS (Rafter 2003). Therefore Criminology has helped to boost attitudes and treatment within the CJS by helping to establish the use of rape suites and aftercare solutions (Newburn 2007). In conclusion we have a greater knowledge of why women fear criminal offense and how culture and the CJS have got blamed them in some part because of their own victimization.
In summary, Criminology has been crucial in adding to our understanding of the characteristics of female offending and victimization. By undertaking analyses and surveys, gathering statistics and growing and debating theories Criminology is rolling out a greater knowledge of why and what can cause women to commit criminal offense; why they commit much less crime compared to men, and just why they are more likely to commit particular types of crimes over others. Criminology has got highlighted the vast amount of feminine victimization that runs unreported and features helped to counteract this by increasing women’s treatment within the CJS and by helping to change attitudes and guidelines. Overall, Criminology has presented us a greater knowledge of feminine offending and victimization and has been fundamental to our understanding of women and crime.
Chesney-Lind, M. (1997) THE FEMININE Offender, Girls, Women of all ages and Criminal offense, London: Sage publications Inc.
Carlen, P.(1988) Women, Criminal offense and Poverty Milton Keynes: Open University Press Educational Enterprises Ltd.
Heidensohn, F. (1996) Ladies and Criminal offense. (2nd Ed.) Hampshire: Macmillan Press Ltd.
Newburn, T. (2007) Criminology. U.S.A. and Canada: Willan Publishing.
Rafter, N. H. (2003) Encyclopedia of Women of all ages and Crime. Newyork: Checkmark Literature.