Chapter 11: Female Offenders
There are various factors that place an individual on a criminal trajectory
The factors are conjoined with one another across many spheres
These spheres include:
1 Individual personality factors - impulsivity
2 Interpersonal factors - poor relationship choices, family factors
3 Community factors - living in high-crime neighbourhood
4 Structural factors
- There were very few early research done on female crime and the study which were done on
female offenders were very sexist.
- They explained female crime was committed because of faulty internal mechanisms of a
biological and or sexual nature.
- The criminal justice system has noticed a vast increase in the number of females officially
arrested and/or charged and subsequently imprisoned - an increase that has outpaced that of
their male counterparts.
Prevalence and Nature of Female-Perpetrated Crime
- Universal fact: girls and women commit substantially less of it, and particularly less violent and
less serious crime as compared to boys and men.
- Only 20% accused of criminal code offence in canada
- Only 16% of women accused of violent offending
- Women do account for a relatively higher proportion (23%) of property charges
- Female perpetrated homicide is very rare
- According to the research females when commit homicide they usually murder an intimate
partner or family member they less likely murder a stranger unlike the men.
- Female murder an inmate in response to domestic violence whereas male murder their inmate
out of jealousy, infidelity, desertion and control.
- Women commit property crime out of economic necessity wheres men commit property crime
for adventure and status enhancement.
RESEARCHING FEMALE OFFENDERS
To Quantify or Qualify? Two approaches to study female offenders:
● Qualitative; involves the analysis of words
● Quantitative; involves the analysis of numbers
- Feminist pathway researchers usually use the qualitative interview techniques with
incarcerated girls/women or self-identified prostitutes to understand female criminality.
- Correctional feminist researchers rely on quantitative techniques such as meta-analysis and
recidivism studies that necessarily does not contain interviews.
- Historically these two types of research has yielded different results
WHY GIRLS AND WOMEN COMMIT CRIME
Feminist Pathways Research
- A body of research collection known as Feminist Pathways research emerged in the 1970’s to
explain female crime.
- use the qualitative interview techniques with incarcerated girls/women or self-identified
prostitutes to ascertain pathways to delinquency.
- About 20 or more feminist pathways studies have concluded that aversive family environments
(e.g., abuse) propel girls from homes and schools into the streets.
- This leads to more victimization in the form of prostitution and poor coping strategies such as
drug use and “criminalized” survival strategies, including robbery, fraud and drug trafficking.
- Some female pathway researchers have also highlighted factors such as poor parental
supervision, parental psychopathology and economic marginalization.
Integrated Liberation and Economic Marginalization Theory
- The changing of gender roles have unintentionally increased the “economically marginal roles”
of women ny pushing them further into the economic margins of society.
-The belief that has been generated that women are better off financially which has caused
society to overlook evidence to the contrary.
- Divorce which is a consequence of liberation has increased the economic instability of women
because there are not more single female-headed households with dependent children.
--Hunnicutt and Broidy tested the theory in 10 different countries
- They concluded “ liberation does indeed stimulate crime among women, to the extent that
changing roles and expectations of gender equality further marginalize women”
Personal, Interpersonal, and Community-Reinforcement (PIC-R) Theory
Page: 381-382 *We have already studied in detail the PIC-R theory this theory isn’t centralized to female
offenders rather its regardless of the gender. All information under this topic is well summarized
its better if you guys read the whole thing its all revision for PIC-R theory!*
FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH FEMALE OFFENDING
- one of the strongest predictors of future criminal behaviour
- According to the research individuals who demonstrate general behavioural problems from an
early age commit crime frequently and evidence criminal versatility are substantially more likely
to commit crime in the future.
- Females are less likely to reoffend violently.
Antisocial Personality and Impulsivity
- Multifaceted and complex
- A recent study did find that the PCL-R was predictive of violent recidivism in women offenders.
- Low self-control: the tendency to pursue short-term, immediate gratification while ignoring the
long term consequences; (predictive of both crimes)
- Feminist scholars criticize the self-control theory for failing to assign a preeminent role to