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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 68505 Find in a Library
Title: SEXIST ASSUMPTIONS AND FEMALE DELINQUENCY - AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION (FROM WOMEN, SEXUALITY AND SOCIAL CONTROL, P 74-88, 1978, BY CAROL SMART AND BARRY SMART)
Author(s): L S SMITH
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: SEXIST ASSUMPTIONS FOUND IN EXISTING RESEARCH ON FEMALE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY ARE CHALLENGED, USING DATA FROM AN INTERVIEW STUDY OF BRITISH FEMALE DELINQUENTS, NONDELINQUENTS, AND GANG MEMBERS.
Abstract: FEMALE CRIMINALITY HAS COMMONLY BEEN EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF INNATE SEXUAL CHARACTERISTICS. BIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC EXPLANATIONS OF FEMALE DELINQUENCY HAVE FOCUSED ON THIS CONCEPT AS WELL AS ON DEFECTIVE PERSONALITY AND BAD HOME BACKGROUND. THE LITERATURE HAS PRODUCED FOUR GENERALLY ACCEPTED HYPOTHESES: (1) FEMALE DELINQUENCY IS LARGELY RESTRICTED TO SEXUAL DELINQUENCY; (2) FEMALE DELINQUENTS ARE SELDOM INVOLVED IN DELINQUENT SUBCULTURES; (3) SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACHES, SUCH AS LABELING THEORY, ARE INAPPLICABLE TO FEMALE DELINQUENCY; AND (4) FEMALE DELINQUENTS ARE FAR MORE ABNORMAL AND PATHOLOGICAL THAN THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. IN THE PRESENT STUDY, DELINQUENCY WAS TREATED AS A SOCIAL PROCESS. FACTORS STUDIED INCLUDED THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL REACTIONS ON DELINQUENCY AND DELINQUENTS' PARTICIPATION IN DELINQUENT SUBCULTURES. DATA WERE COLLECTED THROUGH EXAMINATION OF COURT RECORDS AND THROUGH INTERVIEWS WITH 30 DELINQUENTS, 30 NONDELINQUENTS MATCHED FOR SOCIAL CLASS AND SCHOOLS, AND MEMBERS OF 3 GANGS. RESULTS SHOWED THAT ALTHOUGH SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WAS A FREQUENT OFFENSE, FEMALE DELINQUENCY WAS DEFINITELY NOT RESTRICTED TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT. RESULTS ALSO SHOWED THAT SEXUAL BIAS IN COURT PROCEEDINGS INFLUENCED THE PICTURE OF FEMALE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PRESENTED IN OFFICIAL STATISTICS. LABELS APPLIED TO FEMALE DELINQUENTS EVEN BEFORE THEY REACHED THE COURTS APPEARED TO CREATE PRESSURE FOR MORE EXTREME FORMS OF DELINQUENCY. THOSE WHO WERE INVOLVED IN GANGS WERE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THE GANGS, NOT PERIPHERAL MEMBERS. FINDINGS SEEMED TO DISPROVE THE FOUR HYPOTHESES UNDERLYING PREVIOUS RESEARCH. FURTHER SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON FEMALE CRIMINALITY IS THEREFORE NEEDED. TABLES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; England; Female juvenile delinquents; Juvenile delinquency factors; Research; Sex discrimination
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68505

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