Gender Differences In Crime

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Most crime appears to be committed by males. Official statistics show that four out of five tried offenders are males in Wales and England. Statistics also show a higher percentage of men to be convicted of sexual offences and that males are also more likely to commit crimes over and over again thus becoming repeat offenders.

One argument proposed by many sociologists is that the statistics undermine the amount of crime committed by females. For example, crimes committed by women, such as shoplifting, are less likely to be reported. The same applies to property crime and prostitution which usually goes unnoticed or unrecorded as compared to more violent crimes committed by males. When females’ crimes are reported, there’s a smaller chance they will be tried than males.

Another argument is known as the “chivalry thesis”, this argues that since most court officials are men who are socialised from a young age they tend to act in a chivalrous way towards females. Otto Pollak (1950) claims that men feel protective towards women. Therefore, the criminal justice system is more assuasive towards women thus leading to female crimes being disregarded and being less likely to show up in official statistics. This creates an invalid image that exaggerates the level of gender differences in crime. There is evidence to support this claim. Results from studies
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Talcott Parson (1955) connects differences in patterns of crime and deviance to the gender roles portrayed at home. While women perform the more passive role at home, men assume the breadwinner role this therefore gives little girls growing up better access to a role model while boys distance themselves from the feminine role models by engaging in aggression to prove their masculinity therefore socialisation is more difficult for boys than it is for
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