Assess the Value of the Chivalry Thesis in Understanding Gender Differences in Crime

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Assess the value of the “chivalry thesis” in understanding gender differences in crime (21) The chivalry thesis is where women are treated more leniently than men by the criminal justice system. This is because of paternalism and sexism when it comes to male dominated police and courts. As a result of this, criminal statistics underestimate the true extent of female offending. This is because police officers are less likely to convict a woman of a less serious crime because it is a woman therefore are seen as more likely to just get a warning. Graham and bowling (1995) did a self-report study on 14-25 year olds and found that 55% of males and 35% of females admitted to offences in the last twelve months. This suggests that males commit more crime than women in general although this self-report study is based on the younger generations of males and females. Women are also more likely to admit to their offences, which concludes this figure is an accurate one and may suggest that the male figure could also be even higher. Another study would be the youth lifestyles survey (2000) where it was found that 11% females and 26% males committed serious crimes in the last twelve months. In general, women are seen to commit less serious crimes like shoplifting and are very rare for them to commit a violent crime. These statistics show that males are a lot more violent and are more capable of committing more serious crimes compared to women. Flood page et all (2000) found that one in eleven self-reported offences by women resulted in prosecution whereas one in seven did for males. This backs up what Allen (1987) says where women are less likely to be given custodial sentences for indictable motoring offences because they are able to talk their way out of it and apologise sweetly. This could also be the case when it comes to prosecution. As well as this, women are seen to be treated more leniently by law for example, first offenders are half as likely to be given a sentence...
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