Gender can be defined as a range of various characteristics which are pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity and masculinity and these characteristics may include sex-based social structure, biological sex or gender identity. On the other hand crime can be defined as an unlawful act which is punishable by the state or any other authority. The relationship between crime and gender are paradoxical, persistent and deep. Gender, always has been recognised as one of the vital factors in playing an important role in dealing with various types of criminal justice system across the world (Relationship Between Gender and Crime, 2019). It has also been considered that women and men normally differ in their offence patterns and rates as well as in their victimization experience. It has also been analysed that crimes are committed disproportionately by male as compared to women (Gender and Crime, 2020). This report aims to under the relationship between gender and crime and how gender affects ways of society and law while responding various types of violence and crimes.
Gender is considered as one of the best prediction or criminal behavior, women commit less crimes as compared to men and such distinction has been holding a distinction throughout the history for all groups and societies as well as for every crime category (Gender and Crime, 2020). Various efforts in order to understand crime has been focused on crimes done by male as men have greater involvement within criminal behavior. There are various types of crimes which are committed by women, but there also other which are not. There may be no role of gender which may consider to former type of crime or even it may be not clear (Barlow, 2020). Also, if a women is committing a crime which a society is not excepting her to commit like killing of her children, so she will be treated harshly within the society. Expectations of society depends in the tradition and culture more than law. Both women and men has less rates of arrests even for some of the serious crimes like robbery, homicides and there are high rates of arrests for petty property crimes like public order offences like drug offences, alcohol, disorderly conduct, etc.
Trend in arrests among male and female arrests over time or across geographical region, across group are similar. In current decade or regions, or groups that have high (or low) rates of crimes in males tend to also have high (or low) female crime rates. It has also been illustrated by Robles, (2020) that trends in female crime is very complex relative to male crimes and even it has been claimed that rate of crime in female is increasing at faster rate than male crime which has been measured through female arrests percentage. On the hand it has also been analysed that there is less involvement of women in serious offenses but they commit less harmful crimes. The acts of women crime may involve less injuries and also involves less monetary loss or property damage. Also, there is a less chance of female offenders to become repeat offenders and there is high rarity among women to become long-term careers in crime. Also, men commit more crimes than women despite of rise in criminal activities from women since late 20th century (Statistics on Gender and Crime, 2018). It has also been analysed that women and men commit different types of crimes as per their psychologies and as per their physical strengths which is also known as sex role theory. One can take sociobiological approach and may consider genetic or physical difference between the two (de Vries and et.al., 2020). Also, one may prefer to put emphasis on the gender socialization and it is suggested that normal masculinity is more open to various criminal activities than normal femininity. It can also be explained with the help of control theory, which explains that gender differences within criminality is based on the idea that women can be controlled easily as compared to men and they just grown up in more controlled environment. Women are being controlled parents and relatives till they get married and after that they are being controlled by their husbands. On the other hand boys and men spend much of their time outside their homes so, there are less controlled by their family and relatives and even after marriage they play a dominant role. So this has resulted in higher levels of criminality as well as anti-social behavior.
Other theories have suggested that instead of relating gender and crime there are other factors which can affect the genders differently, the factors like opportunity to commit crime, various social factors as well as differential associations which can explain females committing less crimes as compared to men. Men are likely accepting much more violent definitions as compared to women which has increased rate of men committing more crimes. Men are more aggressive as compared to women and express their anger more practically in order to suit their masculinity and this has increased the violence from men (Smith, 2020). There are also sex-related altitudinal differences which may emerge from gender roles within family as well as from culturally shared expectations which may apply to women and men. It has been argued by Lee, Ang and Chan, (2020) there are some crimes which are committed by women are not acceptable to society and are perceived to have a worst characteristics of females. For man killing his wife or children is acceptable by public as per perception made by society about man’s criminal nature but if same is done by women it is not accepted by the people of society and are definitely charged for the crime. Also, it has been widely considered that women who commit crimes are seen by society genetically more male than a female and are also considered as biologically abnormal. Even form various researches majority people across the world believe that women who are committing crimes like serious crimes, are considered as mentally ill or evil. As illustrated by Ndrecka, (2020) women defendants are also viewed differently across the society like if a women who conform respectful daughters, pure mothers and wives benefiting the society, but if they commit a crime they will be recognised as bad or mad.
It has been argued by Caridade and Dinis, (2020) black men and women across various nations are perceived to be more aggressive than white men and women due to their color and race they come from. White men and women are considered as much more valuable than black men and women and is also considered as gentle creatures which are need of protection. On the other hand black men and women are characterized as promiscuous, lazy and irresponsible. As a result of it black men and women are considered to be more criminal than white men and women. Gender is also affecting on the way society and law are responding to various kinds of crimes which can be seen from various facts that police are holding stereotypical attitudes towards women as well as crimes which they commit. Although criminal laws equally apply to men and women but gender and sex may sometimes have a significance on legal categories which are related to criminal acts. However various studies have also suggested that victim gender does not affect the chances of imprisonment most importantly to vicious crimes, but there may be a significant impact on the length of sentencing.
It can be concluded that male are considered as more criminal as compared to women and are even treated differently by the societies. Despite of the fact that laws treats men and women equally but there is no such guarantee that female and male defendants will be treated equally. It can also be concluded that various elements like physical as well as mental disability, ethnicity, age, class of men and women play a significant role in deciding the criminality.
Books and Journals
Barlow, C., 2020. Gender and Crime News: Female Offending/Co‐Offending. The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. pp.1-7.
Caridade, S. and Dinis, M. A. P., 2020, October. Female crime, criminal justice practice and gender roles: judicial professionals’ perspectives. In II International Symposium on Gender and Prison Culture. (SIGeP2020).
de Vries, I and et.al., 2020. Crime frames and gender differences in the activation of crime concern and crime responses. Journal of Criminal Justice. 66. p.101651.
Lee, J. M. L., Ang, S. and Chan, A., 2020. Fear of crime is associated with loneliness among older adults in Singapore: Gender and ethnic differences. Health & Social Care in the Community.
Ndrecka, M., 2020. Gender and White Collar Crime–Implications for Corrections Research and Practice. Criminal Justice Studies. 33(1). pp.70-78.
Robles, S. M., 2020. Perpetrator Gender and Crime Severity on Decision to Report Witnessed Crime.
Smith, C. M., 2020. Exogenous Shocks, the Criminal Elite, and Increasing Gender Inequality in Chicago Organized Crime. American Sociological Review. 85(5). pp.895-923.
Gender and Crime. 2020. [Online]. Available Through: <https://law.jrank.org/pages/1250/Gender-Crime-Differences-between-male-female-offending-patterns.html>.
Gender and Crime. 2020. [Online]. Available Through: <https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/gender-and-crime>.
Relationship Between Gender and Crime. 2019. [Online]. Available Through: <https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/criminology/relations-between-gender-and-crime.php>.
Statistics on Gender and Crime. 2018. [Online]. Available Through: <https://www.tutor2u.net/sociology/reference/statistics-on-gender-and-crime>.