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NCJ Number: 73758 Find in a Library
Title: Female Criminality - Two Views
Journal: South African Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1979)  Pages:252-260
Author(s): J van derWesthuizen; A V Mayne; L A Abramsohn
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: Afrikaans; English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: Using shoplifting as an example, two South African articles present opposing views on female criminality and the role of women in society.
Abstract: Statistics indicate that in South Africa, shoplifting is the only crime for which the number of women offenders outnumbers men. The first article argues that shoplifting statistics cannot be considered a valid index of female criminality and that women's biological makeup controls their social expectations, personality development, and status-role occupation. The second article presents study results from various researchers to argue that the assumption that shoplifting is mainly a female activity is related to official recordkeeping: the number of women officially recorded as having been involved in shoplifting far exceeds the number of women officially recorded as having been involved in any other type of crime. However, recent statistics in England and Wales show that equal numbers of men and women engage in shoplifting. This second paper argues that the belief that women's actions are insignificant, that women are inessential and invisible, is now being refuted by the women's movement. This movement, the outcome of economic, political, and historic changes and processes, is an expression of existing and experienced injustices and inequalities. The paper uses this feminist perspective to highlight some injustices in legal systems (i.e., female prostitution is illegal but male prostitution is not in English law). One table and references accompanying each article are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; Female offenders; Female sex roles; Feminism; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Shoplifting; South Africa; United States of America; Women's rights
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