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NCJ Number: 51964 Find in a Library
Title: SEX ROLES AND CRIMINALITY - SCIENCE OR CONVENTIONAL WISDOM?
Journal: SEX ROLES  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:111-125
Author(s): N SHOVER; S NORLAND
Corporate Author: Plenum Publishing Corp
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Publishing Corp
New York, NY 10013-1576
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS LITERATURE REVIEW EXAMINES RESEARCH ON FEMALE CRIMINALITY TO DETERMINE IF UNSUPPORTED BELIEFS AND ASSUMPTIONS HAVE INFLUENCED THEORIZING AND RESEARCH PROCESSES.
Abstract: PAST THEORETICAL WORK ON FEMALE CRIME AND DELINQUENCY HAS BEEN BASED UPON A SET OF NONRATIONAL SEX-ROLE ASSUMPTIONS. INVESTIGATIONS OF FEMALE CRIME AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENDER ROLES AND PATTERNS OF CRIMINALITY HAVE NOW BECOME TIMELY AND IMPORTANT BECAUSE SELF REPORT STUDIES, PRIMARILY ON ADOLESCENTS, HAVE SHOWN THAT FEMALE DELINQUENCY IS NOT DIFFERENT BASICALLY FROM MALE DELINQUENCY. A CRITICAL DISCUSSION OF PROCESSES BY WHICH BELIEFS ABOUT THE SEXES HAVE INFLUENCE CRIMINOLOGICAL WORK ON FEMALE CRIME AND DELINQUENCY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: (1) THE LINKING OF HYPOTHETICAL GENDER TRAITS WITH CRIMINALITY; (2) THE EMPLOYMENT OF OBJECTIVISM (I.E., SOCIAL ANALYSTS' ASSUMPTION THAT THEY KNOW THE SUBJECTIVE MEANINGS THAT SOCIAL ACTORS ASCRIBE TO THEIR OWN ACTIONS); AND (3) EXCESSIVE RELIANCE ON POST FACTUM ANALYSES OF RESEARCH FINDINGS. FIFTY-ONE SOCIOLOGICAL WORKS (FIFTY PUBLISHED SINCE 1950) WERE EXAMINED FALLING INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: THEORETICAL WORKS THAT DEAL WHOLLY OR IN PART IN FEMALE MISCONDUCT; WORKS WHICH CRITICALLY REVIEW OR PROVIDE AN INTEGRATIVE REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON FEMALE CRIMINALITY; EMPIRICAL WORKS WHICH CRITICALLY DISCUSS OR TEST THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS; AND EMPIRICAL WORKS THAT ARE PRIMARILY DESCRIPTIVE AND HAVE THERORETICAL BASIS. THE LITERATURE ON FEMALE CRIMINALITY WAS FOUND TO BE SIMILAR TO THAT ON MALE CRIMINALITY IN THREE RESPECTS: CAPTIVE SAMPLES WERE USED; THE FOCUS WAS ON NARROW EMPIRICAL QUESTIONS OR SIMPLE DESCRIPTIONS; AND STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONAL EXPLANATIONS HAVE PREDOMINATED RATHER THAN ATTEMPTS TO RELATE CRIMINALITY TO SOCIETAL INSTITUTIONS OR POLITICAL-ECONOMIC VARIABLES. THE LITERATURE DIFFERED IN THE ATTENTION BEING FOCUSED ON FEMALE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY RATHER THAN ADULT CRIMINALITY, AND THE ASSUMPTION THAT THEORETICAL ISSUES IN FEMALE DEVIANCE ARE SETTLED. AFTER EXAMING SPECIFIC STUDIES, IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS ARE DISCUSSED. QUESTIONS ABOUT SEX DIFFERENTIALS IN CRIME MUST BE OPENLY TREATED UNTIL MORE CRITICAL RESEARCH EVIDENCE IS AVAILABLE. HISTORICAL AND CROSS-CULTURAL EXAMINATIONS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENDER ROLES AND CRIME MUST BE CONDUCTED AND ANALYZED. REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Behavioral science research; Criminology; Female offenders; Literature; Research methods; Role perception; Sex discrimination; Studies; Theory
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51964

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