Feminist Theories of Crime

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Feminism
is a belief that women and men are inherently of equal worth.
first wave of feminism
mid-1800s when women demanded the right to vote.
a Declaration of Sentiments as well as twelve resolutions.
In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed which gave the vote for women.
Declaration of Sentiments
stressed the need for reforms in marriage, divorce, property, and child custody laws.
The second wave of feminism
developed in the 1960s when other marginalized groups were also challenging the status quo.
women needed to have equal access to economic opportunities and sexual freedoms as well as civil liberties.
third wave of feminism
evolved around the late 1980s into the 1990s.
This wave of feminism is an extension as well as a response to the shortcomings of the second wave.
The one major theme of third wave feminism is their willingness to accommodate difference, diversity, and change.
third wave of feminism
the third wave feminist perspective has provided a voice for many women who otherwise did not identify with previous feminist perspectives, especially women of color.
Sex
differences typically refer to biological variations such as reproductive organs and hormones.
Gender
differences usually refer to social definitions of what is meant to be a "woman" or a "man."
Chivalry
pertains to behaviors and attitudes toward certain individuals as if they are on a pedestal.
Paternalism
denotes that women need to be protected for their own good.
In a broader social context, it implies independence for men and dependence for women.
Patriarchy
refers to the subordinate role of women and male dominance.
is a social, legal, and political climate that is based on male dominance and hierarchy.
Traditional or Conservative Perspective
Daly and Chesney-Lind.
the causes of gender inequality are due to biological sex differences, including hormonal differences (e.g., greater testosterone production in males) or reproductive capacities.
The conservative perspective
stresses that social behavior is based on these biological sex differences.
does not offer any strategies for social change since men's and women's behaviors reflect evolutionary adaptations of sex differences.
Liberal Feminism
also known as mainstream feminism.
is founded on political liberalism, which holds a positive view of human nature as well as the ideals of liberty, equality, justice, dignity, and individual rights.
A major feature is that women should have the same rights and treatment as men.
Liberal Feminism
gender inequality is due to women's blocked opportunities to participate in various aspects of the public sphere such as education, employment, and political activity.
There are generally two types of liberal feminists
classical
walfare
classical
Supports limited government and a free market as well as political and legal rights.
Central facets to this approach are freedom of expression, religion, and conscience.
walfare
Favor government involvement in providing citizens, particularly underprivileged individuals, with housing, education, health care, and social security.
Also, maintain that the market should be limited through significant taxes and restricting profits.
A major criticism of the liberal feminist perspective
is that it primarily focuses "on the interests of white, middle-class, heterosexual women."
radical feminism
evolved from the women's liberation movement of the 1960s.
radical feminism
This perspective emphasizes the importance of personal feelings, experiences, and relationships.
Gender is a system of male dominance and women's biology is the main cause of patriarchy.
radical feminism
The cause of gender inequality is based on the needs or desires of men to control women's sexuality and reproductive potential.
radical feminism
that sexism is the first, most widespread form of human oppression.
two types of radical feminism
Tong identifty the two types which are libertarian and cultural
Radical-libertarian feminists
assert that an exclusively feminine gender identity will most often limit a women's development as a full human person.
They encourage women to become androgynous individuals who embody both (good) masculine and (good) feminine characteristics.
Radical-cultural
argue that women should be strictly female/feminine
Marxist Feminism
Places gender in the context of production methods.
The burdens of physical and social reproduction in the home are operated and reinforced in a male-dominated economic and political order.
Marxist Feminism
The causes of gender inequality are due to hierarchical relations of control with the increase of private property and ownership among men.
Class relations are primary and gender relations are secondary.
Marxist feminism
focuses essentially on work-related inequalities as well as enhancing our understanding of the trivialization of women's work in the home (e.g., raising children, housework) and the tedious, poorly paid jobs predominately occupied by women.
Socialist Feminism
Attempts to synthesize radical and Marxist feminism.
This perspective attempts to integrate concepts such as male domination and political-economic relations.
Socialist Feminism
focus on gender, class, and racial relations of domination.
Both class and gender relations are deemed primary.
Socialist Feminism
Two general themes:
Two-system explanations of women's oppression and
Interactive-system explanations of women's oppression.
Maintain that patriarchy, not capitalism, may be women's ultimate worst enemy.
These feminists use terms such as "capitalist patriarchy" or "patriarchal capitalism."
Postmodern Feminism
is a more contemporary intellectual movement that has been modified and adapted by feminist theory.
This perspective rejects the traditional assumptions about truth and reality; the emphasis is more on the plurality, the diversity, and the multiplicity of women as distinct from men.
Postmodern Feminism
reject ideas centered on an absolute word that is "male" in style (e.g., phallocentric).
They also reject any attempts to provide a single explanation or what steps (i.e., a "to do list") women must take to achieve liberation.
Ecofeminism
1980s to examine relations between environmental issues and women's issues.
perceive domination - of women, minority groups, animals, and the earth—as essential problems rather than patriarchy.
Ecofeminism
Within this perspective, however, there are many varieties such as nature ecofeminism, radical-cultural ecofeminism, and spiritual ecofeminism
Global and Postcolonial Feminism
It is an international women's movement and is founded in the commonalities of women's lives such as low economic status.
This perspective critically explores the impact of development, patriarchal religions, international traffic in women, and the Westernization of the Third World.
Global and Postcolonial Feminism
Feminists from First World nations are essentially interested in issues revolving around sexuality and reproduction.
A number of Third World feminists are concerned not only with gender issues but with political and economic issues as well.
Traditional Theories of Female Crime: the Madonna/ duality
personifies women as faithful and submissive wives as well as nurturing mothers.
image portrays a woman as a temptress of a man's sexuality and self-control.
Traditional Theories of Female Crime: the Madonna/***** duality
primarily restricted to women from white, middle- to upper-class backgrounds.
Traditional Theories of Female Crime: Young argued
black women have not experienced this "good"/"bad" dichotomy, stereotypes of black women have essentially been "bad."
Young attempted to identify the gender role characterizations that have been attributed to black females.
the gender role characterizations that have been attributed to black females: The Amazon
domineering, strong, assertive, independent, and masculine
the gender role characterizations that have been attributed to black females: sinister Sapphire
dangerous, castrating, and treacherous toward black men
myths concerning a black woman's sexuality:Mammy
longsuffering, patient, nurturing, and asexual and seductress loose, immoral, and sexually depraved
Caesar Lombroso
The Female Offender, he emphasized the physiological and psychological determinants of female criminality rather than socializing factors or social-structural constraints.
He summarized some of the anomalies associated with prostitutes and other female offenders.
Caesar Lombroso
He noted that prostitutes essentially do not have any wrinkles but are more likely to have moles, hairiness, large jaws and cheekbones, and anomalous teeth.
Women who committed homicides often have cranial depressions as well as prominent cheekbones.
W.I. Thomas
Argued that there are basic biological differences between males and females.
he maintained that humans essentially have four wishes:
The desire for new experience,he desire for security,
The desire for response, andThe desire for recognition.
W.I. Thomas
The desire for new experience and the desire for response were the two wishes that influenced criminal behavior.
Therefore, he argued that a woman who goes into prostitution does so to satisfy a desire for excitement and response.
Sigmund Freud
he perceived women as anatomically inferior.
he also maintained that women are inferior because they are more concerned with personal matters and have very little interest in social issues.
Sigmund Freud
Within this perspective, a deviant woman attempts to be a man.
According to the his orientation, the best way to treat such a woman is to help her adjust to her sex role.
Otto Pollak
The Criminality of Women (1950)
"The criminality of women reflects their biological nature in a given cultural setting."
he argued that women have been more criminal in nature than what has been generally perceived by many.
Otto Pollak
The criminality of women is largely masked criminality."
feminist Critiques of Previous Research Studying Women and Crime
Research in the social sciences have often ignored women and issues of concern to women, or have created differences between women and men, girls and boys that are not natural, essential, or biological.
In 1977 Carole Smart noted that women have not been entirely ignored in the study of crime and deviance.
feminist Critiques of Previous Research Studying Women and Crime
It is essential to understand that by just including women does not necessarily imply that the study is using a feminist framework.
Feminists note that research using either an "add and stir" approach or a sex role approach does not incorporate key feminist concepts
Add and Stir
• Uses an existing theoretical perspective based on males and "adds" women.
Many scholars contend that a great deal of criminological research incorporates this approach.
Sex Roles
Focus on the social construction of sex roles, or what is currently referred to as gender roles.
Research using this approach has been criticized primarily because there is a tendency to perceive these roles as almost being sex-linked without incorporating a larger context as to how these roles have been defined or "determined."
Liberation Thesis
Also referred to as the Emancipation Hypothesis.
Attempts to link the women's liberation movement with female crime rates.
While there were various explanations for the changing female crime rates
Liberation Thesis
The increased opportunities for women to participate in the labor force thus the increased opportunities to commit certain types of crime; and
The changing self-concept and identity of women and girls due to the consciousness-raising aspects of the movement.
These perspectives were offered during the second wave of feminism.
Often-cited Scholars
Freda Adler
Rita Simon
Freda Adler
Sisters in Crime (1975)
Argued that as women continue to strive for equality with men, they will also have more opportunities to commit crimes that were previously unavailable to them due to occupational discrimination.
As the position of women becomes similar to the position of men, this will result not only in women obtaining legitimate opportunities in the labor force but illegitimate opportunities as well.
Maintained that due to women's liberation, the violent crime rate among women would increase.
Rita Simon
Women and Crime (1975)
Only property crime rates among women would increase due to the women's liberation movement; the violent crime rates among women would decrease because women's frustrations would lessen as they are provided more opportunities in employment and education.
Ngaire Naffine
outlined the assumptions of the women's liberation theory including:
The liberation movement can be linked to an increase in female crime;The increase in female crime is a function of women becoming more masculine;
These increases in female crime are due to women becoming actively competitive with men.
Ngaire Naffine
Statistics have revealed that women have not achieved equality in those high-paying and managerial professions.
Power-Control Theory
ohn Hagan and his colleagues developed this theory incorporating a conflict-oriented theory with social control theory.
The theory attempted to explain gender differences in delinquency rates by including family dynamics.
Power-Control Theory
Hagan argued youths from families characterized as patriarchal (i.e., mother had lower status than the father) revealed greater gender differences in delinquency rates compared to youths from more egalitarian homes (i.e., parents had same status or mother was the only parent in the home)
Feminist Perspectives to Understanding Crime and Criminal Behavior :Sandra Harding
The first feature is that the empirical and theoretical bases emanate from women's experiences.
Feminist Perspectives to Understanding Crime and Criminal Behavior :Sandra Harding
The second feature of feminist analyses was the new purpose for women, whereas traditional analyses have primarily been for men.
Feminist Perspectives to Understanding Crime and Criminal Behavior :Sandra Harding
The final characteristic of feminist research was locating the researcher in the same critical plane as the subject matter.
Objectivity and Subjectivity
Feminist scholars challenge research claims of objectivity.
Feminist scholars argue that the standards to assess objectivity are founded on biases established by, and for, individuals of privilege.
Qualitative "versus" Quantitative Analyses
Toby Epstein Jayaratne and Abigail J. Stewart noted that quantitative methods translate individuals' experiences into predefined categories designated by the researchers.
This method distorts women's experiences and results in "silencing women's own voices."
Feminist Criminology
evolved, primarily from liberal feminists; with the realization and objection, that gender was essentially ignored and excluded from criminological theory.
Early feminist criminologists demanded that analyses of crime include consideration of gender in ways that had not occurred before
Feminist Criminology
Dorie Klein maintained that three challenges need to be addressed by feminist criminologists.
To continue to search for the scientific basis of theories of men's and women's criminal behavior.
To re-examine gender and racial/ethnic biases in the social sciences.
To develop a new definition of crime.
Kathleen Daly and Meda Chesney-Lind
distinguish feminist thought from other forms of social and political thought:
Gender is not a natural fact but a complex social, historical, and cultural product; it is related to, but not simply derived from, biological sex differences and reproductive capacities.
Gender and gender relations order social live and social institutions in fundamental ways.
Kathleen Daly and Meda Chesney-Lind
Gender relations are constructs of masculinity and femininity are not symmetrical but are based on an organizing principle of men's superiority and social and political-economic dominance over women.
Systems of knowledge reflect men's views of the natural and social world; the production of knowledge is gendered.
Women should be at the center of intellectual inquiry, not peripheral, invisible, or appendages to men.
Critiques of Feminist Theories
In the 1960s, women of color challenged feminism by arguing that these perspectives essentially focused on the experiences of white middle-class women.
Amanda Burgess-Proctor identified key conceptual factors that distinguish multiracial feminism from other feminist perspectives.
First, multiracial feminism claims that gender relations do not exist in a vacuum; rather, men and women are also characterized by their race, class, sexuality, age, physical ability as well as other social locations of inequality
Amanda Burgess-Proctor identified key conceptual factors that distinguish multiracial feminism from other feminist perspectives.
Second, multiracial feminism stresses the importance of recognizing the ways in which intersecting systems of power and privilege interact on all social-structural levels.
Amanda Burgess-Proctor identified key conceptual factors that distinguish multiracial feminism from other feminist perspectives.
Third, multiracial feminism is founded on the concept of relationality; this "assumes that groups of people are socially situated in relation to other groups of people based on their differences."
Critiques of Feminist Theories
Another issue that has been raised by feminist scholars is when conducting research on women, it is essential that one avoids placing these women as either offenders or victims.
This has been referred to as the "blurred boundaries" theory of victimization and criminalization.
Lisa Maher
critiqued both traditional and feminist research with respect to the importance of not over-emphasizing or ignoring women's agency.
The more traditional approach often overlooks the social locations of women's marginalization and places too much emphasis on female offenders as "active subjects" who pursue criminal opportunities.
On the other end of the spectrum, more associated with some feminist research, women are denied agency.
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