Feminist Theory - University of Minnesota Duluth

Feminist Theory - University of Minnesota Duluth

Feminist Theory The Gender Ratio The Feminization of Crime The Generalization Problem The Gender Gap or Ratio Males dominate Criminal Offending UCR data Total Offending Male to Female is 3.5 to 1 Serious Violent Male to Female is 5 to 1

Relationship holds for self-report data, over time, across societies One exception is for juvenile status offenses Is the gender gap shrinking? Yes and No Yes: The gender gap has shrunk a little bit, but still very large % increase in female offending is misleading

b/c small base rate, minor increases are amplified Adlers Womens Lib hypothesis Youve come a long way baby, but you still commit traditional female crimes Explaining the Gender Gap Can Mainstream Theory Explain the Gender Gap? Gender

Crime/Delinquency Mainstream Theory Variables Example of Study: Jensen (2001) Gender Delinquency Deterrence

Self-Concept/Sex Roles Antisocial Attitudes Maternal Controls Delinquent Peers And the winners are Antisocial Attitudes Delinquent Peers Gender Roles Combination of these three knocks

gender out of the picture Or, controlling for these factors, gender no longer predicts delinquency The Generalizibility Issue Patriarchal societyMales also dominate criminological theorizing Are males biased in their perspective? Traditional image of females as good If delinqeunt or criminal = pathology

Tests of delinquency based on males? Can male theories of crime explain female delinquency? Similar questions have been raised regarding intervention/treatment Factors Unique Female Offending? Gender Roles

Physical Maturity Caspi et al = Delinquent Peers x early Maturity Sexual abuse Self-esteem What is the evidence? Many mainstream theories have been tested on females

Most predict female offending as well as male offending Some (control theories) predict female offending better than male offending Could we still do better? Feminist theories of crime Other Feminist Concerns The Corrections System

1 prison per state Treatment programs Few available, geared towards male, stereotypical Still belief in pathology Women much more likely to be medicated Issues of pregnancy and children

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