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Sociological Explanations for Gender Dissimilarities in Crime

Outline and assess sociological explanations for gender dissimilarities in patterns of crime.

In modern times, based on the official statistics collected and recorded by the police, the number of people committing crime has increased rapidly. There are striking gender variations in the patterns of recorded crime. Women may actually commit fewer crimes than men and, when they certainly offend, women tend to commit different kinds of offense from men. The question is, does indeed women really commit fewer crimes than men? Or men were given birth to to truly have a criminal instinct inside them? From functionalists point of view, women do not commit crime because of intimate theory and dissimilarities in the socialisation. For instance, women perform the expressive role in the house where they take the responsibility for socialising the children while men are socialised to be tough, difficult and risk taking and this mean they will probably commit serves of violence or take benefit of unlawful opportunities when they promote themselves. In addition, functionalists dispute that gender dissimilarities in patterns of criminal offense are because of the 'control theory'. For instance, women are manipulated and much more likely to be at home, they are not in the pubs or night clubs getting drunk making them hardly subjected to commit offences. While Interactionists refuse established statistics on offense and believe they can be socially constructed. What is classed as criminal offense or deviance is based on subjective decisions by agents of social controls (e. g. authorities and jury) which is also called as labelling theory. For example, predicated on 'labeling theory', men get labeled as being violent and a legal while women do not. Feminism, on the other hands, disagrees with both functionalism and interactionism, feminists theory is a radical theory. They acknowledge that women do commit crime nonetheless they commit crime because of different reasons in comparison to other sociologists. There are a variety of feminist perspectives.

First and most important, relating to Marxist feminists, they claim that women are under oppression of an dominant power structure (patriarchal culture). Marxist feminists dispute that men often take advantage and better control over women which indirectly reduces women opportunities to commit criminal offense. We are able to see women are manipulated by men not simply in a wider culture but also at home and work. For instance, housewives are required to spend almost all of their time at home caring for the kids and do all the home tasks which impose severe constraints on the time and movement and indirectly minimise their opportunities to offend. Women who make an effort to reject their role as 'housewives' could find that their companions will force them to get it done through domestic assault. As Dobash and Dobash (1979) show, "many violent disorders derive from men's dissatisfaction using their wives' performance of local duties". These automatically demonstrates domestic assault are mostly devoted by men. While at the job, women's behaviour are manipulated by male supervisors and professionals and keep women 'in their places' as almost all of them only given the opportunity to be in subordinate position. However, eventhough they are just given the low position compare to men at work, women reduces their opportunities to require in major criminal activity at work.

Women are also handled in public places by the risk or concern with male violence against them, especially intimate violence. Frances Heidensohn (1996) notes that sensationalist advertising reporting of rapes increase women's dread and frighten them into remaining indoors. For instance, Women will stay at home before night time as they are afraid something may happen if they're exterior. Furthermore, women are handled in public by their fear of being defined as not reputable. These eventually prevent women from committing crime such as prostitution as it'll deviate them from the norms of the contemporary society. Generally, these patriarchal constraints on women's lives mean they have got fewer chances for criminal offenses. However Heidensohn recognizes that male dominated society can also drive women into criminal offenses. For instance, women will be poor as they didn't get the opportunity to get employment in an increased position anticipated to inequalities in gender. As a result, they'll commit crime such to be a drug dealer or prostitution to allow them to live in a significant life.

Next, based on the results of unstructured interviews transported by Pat Carlen (1988) most convicted serious criminal offense feminine criminals are working-class. "People will choose crime if they do not believe the rewards will be forthcoming in case the rewards of criminal offense appear greater than the potential risks". Women are usually led to comform through the offer of two types of rewards or offers. Firstly, women will see a job which will give them materials rewards with a comfortable quality lifestyle and leisure opportunities which also known as the class package. Subsequently, the gender offer for example, men pledges their wives with materials and psychological rewards if indeed they conform to the norms of a normal local gender role such as taking care of the children and doing housework. In exchange, if these rewards aren't available or well worth the effort women will choose to commit crime to replace the 'rewards'.

However in terms of class package, ladies in working-class are more likely to offend than middle-class women. So even if working-class women put on attempts more than middle-class women do, they still have a limited way or cannot even find an allowed way of getting a reliable living which will bring these to commit crime as a way for them to perform from poverty. In conditions of gender deal, due to patriarchal family norms, almost all of the women either not had the opportunity to make the offer or observed few rewards and many negatives in family. As example, some of them might be subjected to domestic assault by partners. Many women cocluded that "crime was the only path to a decent quality lifestyle. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain", which is the reason why they certainly offend. Carlen conclude that, for these women, poverty and oppressive family life were the key factors behind their criminality. In general, Heidonsohn demonstrates male dominated society which control women really helps to prevent women from deviating while Carlen implies that the failing of patriarchal culture in providing the promised 'offers' for some women takes out the settings which prevent them from offending.

Last however, not least, relating to liberation feminist which is the closest type of feminism to the consensus view of population, nowadays women has become liberated from patriarchy and led to a new kind of female criminal and finally rises the criminal offense rate. As now women receive the same opportunities received by men which have become more identical, such as with education, job, and politics activity they are actually much more likely to commit more serious criminal offenses such as assault and white-collar crimes. Women no more commit traditional 'female' offences such as shoplifting and prostitution because they now have higher opportunities in the culture. However, not all women acquired liberated, almost all of female criminals will work school who still commit traditional offences. Liberation feminist perspective shows us the importance of investigating the relationship between changes in women's role affects changes in habits of women offending.

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