Using Sociological Research and Theory Explain Gender Differences in Crime.

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Using sociological research and theory explain gender differences in crime. Patterns of offending by men and by women are notable both for their similarities and for their differences. Both men and women are more heavily involved in minor property and substance abuse offenses than in serious crimes like robbery or murder. However, men offend at much higher rates than women for all crime categories except prostitution. This gender gap in crime is greatest for serious crime and least for mild forms of law-breaking such as minor property crimes. You can also draw upon offender information from the National Crime Victimization Survey, and on findings from surveys on self-reported crime, from studies of criminal careers and delinquent gangs, and from case studies that provide a wealth of qualitative data on the differing contexts of male and female offending. A variety of evidence suggests that there is considerable overlap in the “causes” of male and female crime, and that both traditional and more recent theoretical perspectives can help explain both female offending patterns and gender differences for less serious crime. The explanation of serious female crime and of gender differences in serious crime is more problematic. The social backgrounds of female offenders tend to be quite similar to those of male offenders like male offenders; female offenders (especially the more serious ones) are typically of low socioeconomic status, poorly educated, under- or unemployed, and disproportionately from minority groups. The main difference in their social profile is the greater presence of dependent children among female offenders. Female levels of offending are lower than for males. These approaches are less enlightening when differences in female and male offending patterns. For example: Why are serious crimes against property and against persons so much less a feature of female offending? Male criminal participation in serious crime greatly exceeds female involvement,...
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