Tema 9 (2016)Apunte Inglés
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GENDER GAP IN CRIME
Ex: Spain: incarcerated population:
Men92,35 % while Women7,65 %
According to data from the FBI (1960 – 2004):
1.The female share of arrests for most categories (person crimes; major property; minor
property; malicious mischief; substance abuse) is 20% or less and is smallest for the most
2. Females are heavily underrepresented in serious property and person crimes, such as homicide, rape, robbery, and burglary.
This gender gap is due to: - how women experience rules - how women are appraised (=valoradas) when these rules are broken - the risks that women consider paramount to defend themselves from - the slanders (=calumnias) they refuse to accept - the resources they use to avoid what they consider to be the worst situations.
“What is understood by crime and what is considered a sin, why we feel guilt, which aspirations we think we have a right to defend, which strategies we use to tackle difficult situations – all these are experiences conditioned by gender models”. (Dolores Juliano, 2008) - Even though women are the poorest group in every society as well as those who assume the highest amount of responsibility, they commit very few of the crimes related to economic needs.
- They avoid breaking the law by developing alternative strategies, turning to support network creation, to unregulated work or to sexual work, among others.
- Prison represents a more important problem for women than for men.
STEREOTYPES OF FEMALE CRIMINALS - Women are determined by nature - Medical doctors and psychologists studied female criminality - Criminal women are more cruel and sinister than men - Lack of maternal instinct - Biological determinism: o Women who have committed offences are perceived to have been motivated by fundamental biological processes (menstruation, menopause) o The female biology is perceived to determine the temperament, intelligence and aggression of women CLASSIC STUDIES Lombroso: “La dona delincuente” (1893) - women are more cunning than men - biological natureField of medicine and psychology Otto Pollak: “The Criminality of Women” (1961) - His starting point was to deny the gender gap.
- Women are not prosecuted because they use their seduction, and the CJS acts with chivalry - Women are instigators (biblical origin) Freda Adler (“Sisters in Crime”, 1975) “Liberation Theory of Female Criminality”rise in female criminality because of “women’s liberation movement” Carol Smart’s critique of classical theories - Classical authors treat the behavior of women within specific cultures as the “true” and “natural” character of woman - They don’t distinguish between gender and sex - They conceptualize the basis of these female and feminine characteristics in biological terms.
TRIPLE “DEVIANT” OF WOMEN When women commit a crime they are breaking the law but also breaking the informal control (women in prostitution) and breaking an stereotype (specially in violent crimes) LESBIANS AS PERPETRATORS Several studies Lesbians are discriminated against in the CJS, this is similar to racial and economic factors.
(Robson, 2000) Lesbian women are: - more likely to be prosecuted - more likely to be convicted - more likely sentenced to jail - more likely to serve a longer sentence Study of women on death row (Brownworth, 1992) 40% were lesbians - In many cases the prosecutors used the defendant’s lesbianism to dehumanize her (as well as prostitution).
- In 1998, a woman was convicted of child- abuse murder, and many scholars noted that the only mother given the death penalty for child abuse is a lesbian.
SOME TRUTHS ABOUT FEMALE OFFENDERS - Commit less crime than men - Shorter criminal careers - More likely to commit property - related offences - Rate of recidivism lower than men - Violent crimes committed by women are usually battered women who kill their abusers ...