Feminism and Crime and Deviance

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Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that women commit less serious crimes as well as having less serious crimes committed against them so they are not worthy of study. (21 marks) It has been argued that males are more likely to commit crimes than women and it is more probable that males are repeat offenders, have longer criminal careers and commit more serious crimes, for example, men are 15 times more likely to be convicted of homicide. However, such statistics are heavily debatable as some criminologists argue that they underestimate the amount of female as against male offending. Typical female crimes, including shoplifting, aren’t as likely to be reported, and even if these crimes are reported, women are less likely to be prosecuted or will get off lightly. Which is reflected by Otto Pollak argument as he states that ‘men hate to accuse women and thus send them to their punishment’, showing that the criminal justice system is thus more lenient with women and so their crimes are less likely to be shown in official statistics. Such feminists as Frances Heidensohn have criticised ‘malestream’ criminology for ignoring female victimisation in studies and statistics on crime. Official statistics show that men are more likely to be street crime offenders than women; however it has been highlighted by feminists that the British Crime Survey (BCS) data indicates that women are prone to be victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, statistics show that 85% of domestic violence victims were women. Despite this, these assaults are generally committed in private and have generated a great fear towards these crimes, they are however reported significantly less often to the police than assaults against males are as it seems that victims are more disinclined to avoid reporting their assault for fear of being found out by their abusive partner. Heidensohn goes onto explain how women commit less crimes due to the patriarchal society as it imposes...
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