Female Violent Offenders Notes.docx

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Woodsworth College Courses
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Scot Wortley

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Female Violent OffendersNational Commission on the causes and prevention of violence charged Daniel Ward with the task of shedding light on womens involvement in crimes of violence Central question they addressed in 1969Are women more aggressive in committing violent crimes today than in the past and do any observed changes in their criminality emanate from changes in gender role requirementsthincreases in females offending linked to changing gender roles in the 20 century o Adler argued that just as women were taking advantage of new found opportunities in the labour market so also were they expanding their roles in illegal activities o Says its a wave that has not yet crested and is seeking a level in conformity with male violence rates Late 1980searly 1990s o Crack MarketsUpsurge in crime was linked to the crack marketsWomen were targeted as both users and small scale dealersProblem of parental drug exposure caught media attentionWomen who were drug users were targeted by legislators in California o Gomez and Logan point out however that women of colour particularly were targeted in this campaign which thereby racialised and linked the images of the unfit mother and female offenderso Crack thought to make women slutty and destroy maternal instincts chasing drugs instead of providing for their children threatening old fashion definition of family roles o GangsFemales targetedcharacterized as being part of the increase gangs calling them gangster girls who were labelled as wild and cold blooded oVigil argued that Latina gang members were more apt to take on the persona of a crazy person than their male counter parts Critical scholarly analysis of women and crime point out that the shifting of socialgender boundaries is causing a social concern about females offending o Their argumentwomens criminality may be the product of a perceived collapse of informal norms of restraint and a sense of decline in morality and discipline within the family rdthFlaw in these studiesthey rely on large aggregated datadont focus on change in last 3 of the 20 century Wards Studyo Using data from Wards studydata gathered in 1998 new focus is primarily on women sent to prison for violent offences while acknowledging that these women are NOT representative of 1
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