Characteristics of female offending and victimisation Essay

Previous to the feminist motion of the 19 1960ss and 1970ss criminology was preponderantly the sphere of work forces as was the Criminal Justice System ( CJS ) , ( Newburn 2007 ) . Therefore it is no surprise that adult females were largely over looked within these Fieldss. Furthermore the few earlier accounts of female criminalism have now mostly been discredited due to their oversimplified, biological and sexually natured accounts ( Lombrosso 1895, Thomas 1923 and Pollak 1950 ) . Nevertheless it is due to these arguably ‘sexist, and male dominated positions, and besides an otherwise deficiency of involvement in female criminalism that inspired many modern and feminist Hagiographas ; these Hagiographas bought about a displacement in attitudes towards adult females and their topographic point within these traditionally male professions. Consequently the dependability of constabulary statistics has been challenged and new ways of garnering information has been developed, such as self study surveies and victim studies ; all of which have brought about new arguments and theories and has contributed to our apprehension of adult females and offense.

This essay will give a brief overview of the features of both female offending and victimization and so discourse the part that criminology has made to our apprehension of them.As a consequence of the aforesaid corporate research there is a general understanding within criminology that adult females commit well less offense than work forces ( although harmonizing to constabulary statistics female offense rates are lifting ) ( Newborn 2007 ) . Womans are less likely to perpetrate certain offenses, such as sexual offenses, and they are less likely to re-offend ( Newborn 2007 and National Statistics Online 2006 ) . The bulk of offenses that adult females commit affect larceny and managing stolen goods, force against the individual and drug offenses ( National Statistics Online 2006 and Caddle and Crisp 1997 ) .Criminology has contributed to our apprehension of the features of female piquing in many ways.

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First, since the feminist motion, Criminology has focused attending onto female offending and has helped to deconstruct the traditional male chauvinist stereotypes of the female wrongdoer antecedently portrayed by traditional criminologists ( Lombrosso, 1895, cited in Newburn, 2007 ) . Modern Criminology has farther developed bing theories in order to do them applicable to adult females – such as control theory – and has highlighted how adult females ‘s experience of society is different to that of work forces ; proposing that adult females ‘s topographic point in society, i.e. their occupation, societal background and being a female parent can all consequence their suppressions towards offense and their chances to pique ( Heidensohn 1996 and Carlen 1988 ) . Therefore, Criminology has helped us to understand how a adult females ‘s single fortunes can impact on whether she will pique and what types of offenses she is likely to perpetrate.

Criminology has besides highlighted the impact that anterior victimization and the dislocation of societal bonds has on female offending ; in her research into how adult females become involved in illicit drugs, Cheseney-lind ( 1997 ) found that all of the adult females in her survey came from unstable societal environments, i.e. want, parental intoxicant maltreatment, sexual maltreatment and force.

Other surveies have highlighted institutional sexism ; Carlen ‘s 1998 survey in which she interviewed 15 Scottish sheriffs about their feelings towards prosecuting adult females wrongdoers, found that they all disliked holding to direct adult females to prison. Carlen suggests that they resolve this edginess by know aparting between who they perceived to be ‘good ‘ and ‘bad ‘ female parents and ignore the impact of socio-economic factors on their behaviour ( cited in Heidensohn 1996 ) . The sheriff ‘s attitudes in Carlen ‘s survey highlights a long running argument within Criminology, which is, are adult females treated more gallantly or more harshly than work forces by the CJS? ( Newburn 2007 ) It could be argued that the edginess of the sheriffs to prosecute adult females points to a gallant attitude but the fact that they separate the adult females into ‘good ‘ and ‘bad ‘ female parents suggests that the adult females are being double judged, as both adult females and female parents. Therefore Criminology has given us greater apprehension of how female offending is affected by a deficiency of household support and societal bonds and arguably how adult females are affected by the dual criterions nowadays within the CJS.By disputing constabulary recorded statistics Criminology has highlighted other arguments, such as why do female piquing rates appear to be lifting and to what extent do adult females perpetrate less offense than work forces? ( Newburn 2007 ) .

In respect to lifting female offense rates there are several positions ; some argue that it is because adult females ‘s functions are altering in society which gives them greater chance to pique ( Adler, cited in Newburn 2007 ) ; some claim that it is due to economic marginalization and adult females offend because of want ( Carlen 1998 ) and others suggest it is due to alterations in the labelling of offenses which make for stricter sentencing ( Heidensohn 1996 ) . Criminology has incited many arguments which have helped to develop a better apprehension of the features of female offending.As a consequence of criminological research, such as the British Crime Survey ( BCS ) , we understand that overall adult females are at less hazard of condemnable exploitation than work forces. The lone offenses that adult females are at a higher hazard from is domestic force and stalking/harassment ( although it could be argued that the latter is due to work forces being less easy intimidated and less likely to describe those types of offenses ) . We besides know that the huge sum of the domestic force suffered by adult females goes unreported. Finally, although we know that adult females are at less hazard of offense overall, the BCS tells us that they have a greater fright of offense than work forces, and this impacts negatively on their day-to-day lives ( Newburn 2007 ) .Criminology has contributed to our apprehension of the features of female exploitation in many ways.

First, By disputing constabulary statistics it has highlighted ‘the dark figure of offense ‘ , demoing the huge sum of offenses that go either unknown, unreported, or unrecorded ; hence foregrounding the huge sum of domestic force, sexual assault and colza offenses adult females suffer, chiefly at the custodies of their hubbies, spouses or other household members ( Heidensohn 1996 ) . The issue of domestic force is shockingly illustrated in a survey carried out by Painter and Farrington ( 1998 ) , in which 1 in seven married womans reported being raped by their hubbies ( cited in Rafter, 2003 ) . Traditionally offenses of domestic force were trivialized by the constabulary because of a general credence of force against adult females by their spouses ( Newburn 2007 ) . Criminology has besides highlighted the issue of repetition victimization in respects to adult females ; due to the nature of the offense repetition victimization rates are high in instances of domestic force but research besides shows that adult females who were abused in childhood are at a higher hazard of being victimized in maturity ( Rafter 2003 ) . Therefore, because of Criminology we understand that many more adult females suffer domestic force than the constabulary statistics suggest and besides adult females who were abused as kids are at a higher hazard of acquiring involved in an opprobrious relationship in maturity.Women ‘s fright of victimization is a debated issue within Criminology, some explain that it is because adult females are ‘the smaller sex ‘ and so are more easy intimidated and others suggest it is related to a fright of colza caused by socialisation and ‘moral terror ‘ , proposing that it is irrational ( Rafter 2003 ) .

Criminology has highlighted adult females ‘s experience of offense and the CJS and society ‘s attitudes towards female victimization ( Newburn 2007 ) . Criminology has found that adult females are frequently accused of precipitating or easing offenses against them, such as colza and assault ; harmonizing to lifestyle theories, how adult females dress, whether they go out entirely and where they go, all participates to their victimization ( Rafter 2003 ) . This theory is contradicted by victim study informations which suggests that adult females are at more hazard of domestic force than stranger force ( Newburn 2007 ) .

In respects to adult females ‘s intervention within the CJS, criminology has highlighted the unjust and un-sympathetic intervention adult females arguably receive in respects to being victim of such offenses as colza and domestic force, proposing that adult females were frequently capable to ‘secondary exploitation ‘ because of unsympathetic intervention given by the CJS ( Rafter 2003 ) . Consequently Criminology has helped to better attitudes and intervention within the CJS by assisting to set up the usage of colza suites and aftercare services ( Newburn 2007 ) . In decision we have a greater apprehension of why adult females fear offense and how society and the CJS have blamed them in some portion for their ain victimization.In decision, Criminology has been important in lending to our apprehension of the features of female offending and victimization.

By transporting out surveies and studies, garnering statistics and developing and debating theories Criminology has developed a greater apprehension of why and what causes adult females to perpetrate offense ; why they commit less offense in comparing to work forces, and why they are more likely to perpetrate certain types of offenses over others. Criminology has highlighted the huge sum of female victimization that goes unreported and has helped to antagonize this by bettering adult females ‘s intervention within the CJS and by assisting to alter attitudes and policies. Overall, Criminology has given us a greater apprehension of female offending and victimization and has been cardinal to our apprehension of adult females and offense.Chesney-Lind, M. ( 1997 ) The Female Offender, Girls, Women and Crime, London: Sage publications Inc.

Carlen, P. ( 1988 ) Women, Crime and Poverty Milton Keynes: Open University Press Educational Enterprises Ltd.Heidensohn, F. ( 1996 ) Women and Crime. ( 2nd Ed. ) Hampshire: Macmillan Press Ltd.

Newburn, T. ( 2007 ) Criminology. U.

S.A. and Canada: Willan Publishing.

Rafter, N. H. ( 2003 ) Encyclopedia of Women and Crime. Newyork: Checkmark Books.


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