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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134222 Find in a Library
Title: Criminality of Women
Author(s): O Pollak
Date Published: 1950
Page Count: 197
Sponsoring Agency: University of Pennsylvania Press
Baltimore, MD 21211
Sale Source: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publicity Manager
P.O. Box 4836
Baltimore, MD 21211
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The criminality of women is generally a neglected field of research, and the nature of female criminality has been differently conceived by authors who have paid attention to it.
Abstract: The lack of scientific attention to the problems presented by female offenders is probably due to the recurring observation that considerably smaller number of women come into contact with the law than men. Women, however, represent about half of the U.S. population and live under conditions that may often protect them against the detection or prosecution of crime. These conditions suggest that female criminality deserves more research interest than it has received. Several writers have focused on the apparent disproportion between male and female offenders, while others have referred to social conditions and the narrower sphere of activities open to women as the reason for the differential. Scholars who reject any biological explanation and explain the numerical sex differential purely in terms of social conditions are more numerous. Still other researchers have concentrated on the study of certain characteristics of female offenders such as health, intelligence, exposure to economic pressure, and an unfavorable home environment. The current author looks at the ways in which women commit crimes, the specificity of female crime, personal characteristics of female offenders, and causative factors that distinguish female criminals from other offender groups. He concludes that the amount of female crime has been greatly underestimated by traditional opinion and that the criminality of women reflects their biological nature in a given cultural setting. References, footnotes, and tables
Main Term(s): Female crime patterns
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Female offenders; Social conditions
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