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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91921 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Order in the Court - Gender and Justice
Author(s): K Daly
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 411
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 81-IJ-CX-0036
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research addresses the question of whether men and women are treated differently in the criminal courts, and if so, why.
Abstract: Past research shows that the symptoms of sexual stereotyping are evident in court outcomes (i.e., more lenient treatment of female than male defendants). This research explicates the sources of such treatment. It critiques the prevailing concepts of 'court paternalism' and 'evil woman' and advances a new theoretical framework which draws upon feminist theory, focusing upon the material and ideological bases of gender relations, i.e., the presumed productive and familial responsibilities of men and women. It is hypothesized that when court decisions center on a defendant's loss of liberty, men and women with familial ties or responsibilities will be treated more leniently than those without such ties. Further, among 'familied' defendants, women will be treated more leniently than men because their familial labor is ideologically and materially more indispensable than men's. Hypotheses related to the impact of the offense charged and to racial and ethnic variation in the treatment of men and women are also explored. The hypotheses on the mediating influence of familial status are supported from analyses of court outcomes in New York City and Seattle State criminal courts and from interviews with 35 court personnel and observations of decisionmaking in the Springfield Criminal Court (Massachusetts). Two conclusions are drawn: although many attributes of defendants are 'taken into account,' the 'individualization of defendants' is more broadly embedded in the 'familialization of justice;' the prevailing usage of 'court paternalism' needs to be transformed from a 'protection' of women to a 'protection' of family members dependent on defendants. Tabular data are given. A bibliography of over 200 entries is provided. Study data and instruments are appended. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Sentencing disparity; Sex discrimination
Note: University of Massachusetts - doctoral dissertation
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