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NCJ Number: 66909 Find in a Library
Title: FEMALE DELINQUENCY AND THE ROLE OF WOMEN
Journal: CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FAMILY LAW  Volume:1  Dated:(1978)  Pages:254-273
Author(s): S BARNHORST
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 20
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE POSITION OF JUVENILE AND ADULT FEMALE OFFENDERS IN CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODES AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF PERSISTING JUDICIAL BIASES WITH REGARD TO THE STEREOTYPED ROLE OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY.
Abstract: WRITTEN FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A FEMALE LAWYER, THIS PAPER ARGUES THAT WOMEN OFFENDERS ARE TREATED BY CANADIAN COURTS AS A PENAL MINORITY THAT IS ONLY PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE. THIS IS PART OF THE IMPLICIT ASSUMPTION OF FEMALE INFERIORITY IN WHAT IS STILL ESSENTIALLY A MALE-RULED SOCIETY. WESTERN CULTURE ASSIGNS TO WOMEN A WIFE-MOTHER-SEX OBJECT ROLE. THEY ARE PERCEIVED AS CREATURES RULED BY FEELINGS, MOSTLY SEXUAL IN ORIGIN, RATHER THAN REASON. THE TYPES OF CRIMINALIZED FEMALE BEHAVIOR, REFLECTING THE PREDOMINANT DOUBLE STANDARD, ARE MOSTLY STATUS OFFENSES. SEXUAL PROMISCUITY AND PROSTITUTION ARE NEITHER CRIMINALIZED NOR PENALIZED FOR BOYS AND MEN, ONLY FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN. CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES OF FEMALE DELINQUENCY HAVE SEIZED UPON THE FEMALE STEREOTYPES-FOR THEIR OWN BIASES. OFFICIAL STATISTICS AND REPORTED RESEARCH SUPPORTING THE FEMALE MYTH ARE CONTRASTED WITH SELF-REPORT STUDIES WHICH REVEAL A MARKEDLY DIFFERENT SITUATION; I.E., DELINQUENCY PATTERNS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS ARE QUITE SIMILAR, BUT THE RATE FOR GIRLS IS LOWER. THE STUDY ALSO EVALUATES THE DATA ON THE RATE-PRODUCING PROCESS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND CONCLUDES--WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE CANADIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM--THAT JUVENILE COURTS ARE EFFECTIVELY PERPETUATING THE IMAGE OF THE MALADJUSTED AND SEXUALLY PROMISCUOUS FEMALE OFFENDER. BILINGUAL (FRENCH AND ENGLISH) SOURCE QUOTATIONS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES ARE GIVEN IN FOOTNOTES.
Index Term(s): Canada; Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Female juvenile delinquents; Female offenders; Female status offenders; Females; Juvenile codes; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Role perception; Self concept
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66909

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