Assess Explanations That Sociologists Have Offered for Lower Levels of Convictions of Woman for Criminal Offences

Topics: Gender role, Crime, Sociology Pages: 3 (926 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Assess explanations that sociologists have offered for lower levels of convictions of woman for criminal offences Sociologists have offered explanations for lower levels of convictions for woman for criminal offences. For example women are treated more leniently and woman are socialised to commit less crime in the first place. Most crime appears to be committed by men. According to recent national statistics men are four times more likely to commit a crime than woman. For example official statistics suggests there are gender differences in the types of crimes committed such as men committee violent crime and woman committee shoplifting. One explanation for the lower levels of convictions of women is that they are treated more leniently. One explanation that has been put forward is that the agents of criminal justice such as police officers, magistrates and judges are men and men are socialised to act in a chivalrous manner towards women. In the 1950s Pollack argued that men felt they had to protect women, so the criminal justice system is more lenient towards them. So there are some crimes that are less likely to turn into official statistics. This then does not give an accurate understanding in rates of offending and official statistics will show the extent of gender differences. Women are also more likely than men to be cautioned rather than prosecuted. For example, the Ministry of justice figures for 2009, show that 49% of female offenders were cautioned compared to only 30% of men. Similarly Hood’s study of over 3,000 defendants found that woman were about one-third less likely to be jailed in similar cases. However, there is evidence against the chivalry thesis. Box argues women who commit serious offences are not treated more favourably than men. He argues women show remorse which may be why they get cautioned rather than going to court. Heidensohn argues that in fact when women commit more serious crimes and deviate from expected norms of behaviour...
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