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Feminist Theories of Crime.docx

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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

FEMINIST THEORIES ON CRIME 1. Why do gender differences matter? •several reasons - women rep 1/2 population - some believe there are large differences between gender, some argue male and female are the exact same - big question on differences between males/females in criminal system - feminists argue females offenses are much more complex than males - gender not necessarily just biological construct  social constructs also define masculinity and femininity 2. Conservatism (biology) •gender inequality is natural and functional for society •women inequality bc of biology this is okay •different biologically so there must be some kind of inequality •patriarchy is justified •male superiority •lot of institutions, work, family, legal etc enforce male centered attitudes •policy implications: Lombroso and Pollak 3. Liberal Feminist theory •role of culture and socialization •girls taught to be non violent, boys want G.I. Joe toys, etc. •more leniency for males than females with supervision, curfews, etc •equality of opportunity •gender discrimination in law •policy implications 4. Marxist Feminism •Role of class and patriarchy •result in living in male dominating society •women are exploited by husbands (indirect) and by employers (direct) •husbands  men are dominant at work, they take this home and carry on to dominate wives, domestic labour, sexual favors, sociological way •employers  women usually have minimum wage, low paid jobs - capitalists pay women less, keep them in these “ghetto” jobs •social feminists extend this to the family (reproduction, housecleaning, sexuality, birth control) •exploitation also happens in family bc women child rearing, etc. •typically, OBGYN are white males giving pregnancy & delivery info to women •men gain control over woman’s sexuality •pornography: male producers, male dominated, geared towards males •in work, businesses can now make women delay having children bc of the knowledge of birth control •policy implications •labour law  places women work (not unionized, low paying) •laws  marriage, child custody, reproduction, etc. laws made bc of inequality •legal institutions  roles in workplace & home are brought into courtroom, where as males are not 5) Radical Feminism •gender inequality due to need for men to subordinate women •male aggression towards females •women’s smaller size, dependency when child rearing •men usually “bread winner” - women dependent on males financially •power relations are due to socialization •“boys have right to dominate girls” is taught in society •this includes social institutions (law) •policy implications 6) Feminist criminologists focus on the problems of •generalization •gender-ratio •sexism •solutions? 8) Some problems with achieving a feminist agenda in criminological theory •law reform is complex •questions exist in overlaps between the woman as offender or victim (“blurred boundaries” problem) • court response to female offending is biased 9) Examp
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