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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76971 Find in a Library
Title: Female as Totem, Female as Taboo - An Inquiry Into the Freedom to Make Connections (From Taboos in Criminology, P 67-80, 1980, Edward Sagarin, ed. - See NCJ-76968)
Author(s): S D Henson
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Taboos affecting research into the relationship between feminism and increased female crime are examined.
Abstract: A taboo is characterized by awe and aversion, ritualistic control of either the environment or beliefs about the environment, and a nonrational defense of the aversion (although the taboo itself may or may not be functionally purposive). This definition of a taboo does not accurately describe research focusing on the female offender since so much research in this area has already been encouraged, funded, and published. Further, the claim that a relationship exists between feminism and female crime cannot be denied, although the nature of the relationship is still debatable. Still, there is a taboo-like constraint operating to confuse and undermine serious inquiry into the relationship between the movement striving for female social and vocational equality with men and the dramatic increase in the involvement of females in violent crimes, crimes of aggression, and larceny. An understanding of the relationship between female crime and the feminist movement is not to be found in facts and figures since no data can directly connect female crime to feminist ideology as a sufficient cause. However, research can examine whether the social conditions fostered by feminism may have created more opportunities for the type of female offenses that are on the increase. Feminists are too willing to continue to cast the female in the role of innocent victim of male exploitation and aggression, who, when given freedom from victimization and exploitation, will use her new found freedom with a sensitivity and high ethical standards traditionally associated with the female. Feminists should agree that when women are given the same opportunities and exposed to the same conditions as men, many will engage in the criminal behavior that parallels the responses of a percentage of males facing the same opportunities. Several notes and 22 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Cultural influences; Female offenders; Feminism; Genetic influences on behavior; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Political influences; Research; Sex discrimination
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