Has women’s participation in crime increased in the past 30 years?
Does the liberation thesis explain increases in women’s prison populations?
How do [any] increases compare to that of men?
Are women behaving more like men?
How do we know what we know?
Increases seem to be apparent for women in DUI, larceny, minor thefts and fraud
Limitations in data preclude many comparisons
Serious crime still largely male territory
Arrests for crime that females typically commit has increased overall
FP/A has increased in some areas, decreased in others
Similar social and legal forces underlie the arrest rates for both sexes, independent of any condition unique to women or so-called “women’s crimes.”
The “widening of the net” accounts for most
All violent offenses
Interpret this statistic:
According to UCR statistics, the female share of arrests has increased for several violent offenses, most notably for misdemeanor assault but also for felony assault.
Explaining women’s crime
Early explanations of crime
The tired “nature v. nurture” dichotomy
Lombroso and “masculinized” women
Freud and penis envy
Male based and biased
Women are inherently deceitful
Law and the organizational management of crime
Net widening and changes in law
Gender equality and emancipation
Increased economic marginalization
Increased inner-city disorganization
Expanded opportunities for female-type crime
Changes in the underworld
Trends in drug dependency
Crime prevention programs targeting male
Opportunity can amplify motivation
Being able tends to make one more willing,
and vice versa
So… what do we know?Gender makes different criminals
Blurred boundaries between victims and offenders happen more for women
Women are generally excluded from most lucrative criminal opportunities
Women can exploit sex as both an end and a strategy
Women are constrained by motherhood and child care
Women are more concerned with relations
Women are (perceived to be) more in need of protection
Gendered model of female offending and
gender differences in crime
Organization of gender
Norms, identities, arrangements, institutions, relations
Meanings, interpretations, “gestalt”
Routes to crime different