Criminal Behavior Essay

1963 words - 8 pages

It has always been a traditional view that males commit more crimes than females as females are seen more as victims than perpetrators. According to most literature men are the predominant figures where crime is concerned and women are seen as law abiding citizens this essay will show that to an extent gender is a useful tool in explaining criminal behaviour in terms of whether a male or female may have committed a certain type of crime however because of the massive range of differences between different theorists and their explanations of female crime and the link to explaining behaviour there are lots of misconceptions regarding this. This essay will aim to analyse some of the key theorists ideas and use them for an overall explanation of the gender and the explanation of criminal behaviour link.

During the early twentieth century it was believed that men were the main perpetrators of criminal behaviour(Williams 2004), there was not a female crime category, crime was believed to be dominated by males so all crime fell into male categories.(Maguire, Reiner and Morgan 2002)
It is universally believed that males commit more crimes than females and according to the office for national statistics in 2002 males committed four times more crime than females. The figures of male offending rates has stayed fairly consistent in 1984, 84 percent of offenders were male and in 1999 the figure of male offenders was at 83 percent, in 2006 the figure was at 80 percent (Office for national statistics, 2002). In 2006 the statistics showed that in all major crime categories males outnumber females, between 82 and 94 percent of males were convicted of offences such as burglary, drug offences, criminal damage and violence against the person with a staggering 97 percent of males being found guilty of sexual offences(office for national statistics, 2006). The most commonly committed crime category that males and females both fell into was theft, with half of all female offences falling into the theft and handling stolen goods category however males were found to be more at risk of violent crime with domestic violence being the only category whereby the risk was greater for females (Office for national statistics, 2006).

If statistics are the only variable taken into account when looking at the link between gender and criminal behaviour it can be assumed that gender is an extremely useful tool in explaining criminal behaviour in terms of gender, however the misrepresentations of crime figures is problematic. It is impossible to know the actual numbers of offenders as the figures are only representative of people arrested and convicted of such crimes. (Blackburn 2005).Crime statistics do not tell us why males commit more crimes than females. The uncertainty relating to crime statistics induced lots of theorists to make assumptions about female criminality and lots of theorists believed that females were indeed accountable for a much larger proportion of crimes...

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