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Gender based theories (week 12).docx

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SOCY 275
Stacey Alerie

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Feminist Theories 12/21/2012 9:54:00 AM Gender based theories  Only look at boys or girls in passing  Stereotypical light  Gender is the most strong and consistent correlate to crime and delinquency o Males are much more likely to offend than females o Gender is strongly positively correlated with crime, with more males, higher the crime rate  Female offenders  Female victims  Females in the criminal just system  Feminist school of thought  To what extent can theories be generalized to women's offenses Feminist criminology  1970  Feminist criminology as branch of critical criminology  Focus on power relations and sources of power rellations o Patriarchal system  Women at the centre of inquiry o Women were ill served by traditional theories o Fail to account that women who were treated for sexual crimes were treated more harshly than men, but treated lighter than men for violent crimes  Women as offenders, women as victims, women in the criminal justice system  Stereotypes used in explanations Observations  Female offenders treated as at an earlier stage of development than men o Females were still "developing" distorted image of deviance  Ignored what actually produces delinquency, o Every theory before was inadequate, no gender differences between men and women.  Much of policy and attitudes towards female criminals assumed neurosis, irrationality, compulsive behaviour, secondary to men. o Women were more likely to be institutionalized than men  Female deviance studies focus on sexual deviance o Bad women, who were sexual or lack sexual guilt, specific traits for women. o Sexual characteristics helped deem criminal women from normal women. o Sexual related crimes, women were always in the centre even if she was the victim.  Double standard o The nasty girl  Cultural assumptions of women being institutionalized based on sexual matters o Violent girl  Now all girls are violent, have violent tendencies, statistics lead to new treatment in the criminal justice system What do we know so far  Traditional theories focus on boys  When women were mentioned it was stereotypical and distorted  Some theories claimed gender neutrality.  Ignores social construction of gender Freda Adler - Sisters in Crime  Took into account women's liberal movement  Women were aggressive, competitive when leaving private sphere. o No longer confined to house and family. o Public is competitive and economic.  Women begin to take on masculine qualities. o Taking challenges and roles that men take on  Women had more access to guns etc. making them selves known as full human beings. o Became just as capable of violence as any man Leaving home, joining public sphere Rita Simon, Women and Crime  Still focused on social changes, leaving private sphere  Different application of crime and deviance,  When women leave private sphere o Women had more opportunities for crime  not because they become more like men  Did not see violence or aggression o Saw more economic related crimes  Women getting closer to people of power Difference between Adler and Simon  Simon did not see women with masculine traits  Adler crime was more violent, Simons crime was more economic  More support for Simons theory Carol Smart  Review of traditional theories o Stereotypical Claims  Observations o Error on relying on institutionalized sample of girls as representative  All theories lacked  Called for feminist criminology  Never layed a structure for feminist criminology Feminism  The study of gender relations,  Including how women are discriminated against certain forms of deviance  Put women in the center, generalize women Liberal feminism  Initial writings classified as liberal feminism  Filling gaps, o Correcting distorted images o Operates in existing social structure  Still traditional criminology o Correcting those theories , o Questioning and critical of old theories Radical feminism  Strand of critical feminism  Central concept is patriarchy.  Patriarchy is established and maintained through sex role socialization and core gender identities  First part of critical feminism...radical feminism o Male dominance is the real problem in society o Socialized sex roles, o Domination over women,  Public and private sphere  Patriarchy is heart of the problem o Completely change society to eliminate it Marxist feminism  Strand of critical feminism.  Combine radical arguments with traditional Marxism.  Central argument, o Male dominance is a problem, o Root of their dominance is their ownership and control over means of production, o Control rests with men, interests become rules and societal
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