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NCJ Number: 77836 Find in a Library
Title: Trends in Female Crime - A Comparison of Adler, Simon and Steffensmeier
Journal: California Sociologist  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1979)  Pages:200-212
Author(s): R M Terry
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The works of three prominent researchers -Freda Adler, Rita James Simon, and Darrell Steffensmeier -- disagree in several areas regarding female crime trends.
Abstract: Adler makes three major assertions about female crime trends: a female crime wave is occurring, the rate increase in female crime is greater than the male increase for almost every major crime, and masculine-feminine boundaries in crime are becoming blurred. Adler bases her contentions on statistics, such as the Uniform Crime Report arrest statistics, and anecdotes, media reports, and some interviews with offenders. Simon, in comparison to Adler, is more rigorous in analyzing statistical data. She finds that significant increases in female crime are relatively restricted, that female violent crime is actually decreasing, but that females are increasingly engaged in white-collar crime. Steffensmeier maintains, however, that this is not true. Females are merely committing more traditionally female crimes. Apparent increases in fraud and embezzlement are only reflecting changes in participation in shoplifting and writing bad checks. Regardless of the conflicts among these theories, several tenets can guide future research: (1) occupational gains by women have been highly limited; (2) reliance upon Uniform Crime Reports arrest statistics as a basic data source may result in failure to understand female crime trends; and (3) most trend research (except for Steffensmeier's) totally ignores the differential impact of the women's movement on different segments of the population. Discussion of the methodology used by the three researchers are included. Thirty-three references are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Crime patterns; FBI Uniform Crime Reports; Female offenders; Sociology
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