Feminist Writers. Essay

1257 words - 5 pages

THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF FEMINIST RESEARCHQ1. Overall, what aspect of criminology has been 'exposed' by feminist writers?Feminist writers have managed to achieve many things and to also demonstrate that criminology is dominated by men in all areas. Practically all of the theories within criminology have relatively ignored women, only to see them predominately in the role of caregiver and mother rather than a prospective criminal. Women tended to be excluded altogether by theorist such as Merton and Durkheim for instance. Heidensohn (1985) showed four reasons for this: vicarious identification, male dominance of sociology, lower recorded levels of female crime and the nature of sociological theories of deviance. In the teaching of criminology males have dominated even though a vast majority of students were in fact female. Feminist research has shown Cohen's theories are based on working-class boys, but does not explain what leads females into crimeQ2.What examples of 'institutionalised sexism' have been uncovered?Feminist research has shown that there are many areas in which 'institutionalised sexism' is prevalent. When a woman is arrested for a crime, statistically she is less likely to be arrested following a stop and search whereas a man is more likely; women are more likely to receive a caution. Many female offenders often are single parents and some maybe pregnant resulting in more females receiving lesser sentences rather than imprisonment as the courts have the added responsibility of children to consider. As far as the crimes themselves, women are more likely to deviate out of necessity, for example shoplifting where a woman may steal from a shop to provide for her child/children. Females who appear in court whetherthey are a victim or an offender tended to be regarded more favourably if they fit the stereotypical view of what a woman is, such as caring, gentle etc. When a women receives an harsher sentence it is usually because she is seen not fit the stereotypical view of women especially if she has committed murder, for instance. However a woman who has suffered many years of abuse by her husband then takes matters into her own hands is often given harsher sentences than some men who kill their wives. Showing that perhaps there is sexism within the judiciary system. Within the prison system many women are in for non-violent offences such as drug offences, prostitution and shoplifting, for instance in 2001 2,400 females received sentences for theft from shops with only 460 for more violent crimes. Not only that females are also less likely to be seen within the criminal justice system. Within the police only around 7% in high ranking positions were female compared to 93% male. The judiciary again (7%) female judges compared to 93% male and only 2 Lords justices are female compared with 34 male. Only in more clerical roles were there's a higher ratio of women to men. The liberal feminist Gelsthorpe was concerned with equal rights and equality...

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