Guide The Criminological Holmes

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You will explore areas including: - Criminological theory - Youth crime and the youth justice system - Crime and social control - The media representation of crime - Different forms of crime such as hate crime and violent crime We have strong links with criminal justice agencies and you will be encouraged to make the most of the volunteering and networking opportunities available throughout your course in order to give you the best possible start to your career. We place our students at the centre of everything we do.

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Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user. Women were therefore protected: their criminal activity was less likely to be detected, reported, prosecuted, or sentenced harshly.

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Chivalry had only positive effects on women who were essentially more deceitful than men, and were the instigators rather than the perpetrators of crime. Less flatteringly, The Criminality of Women also claimed that women prefer professions like maids, nurses, teachers, and homemakers so that they can engage in undetectable crime.

He also thought women were especially subject to certain mental diseases like kleptomania and nymphomania. The most investigated "difference" between the sexes was biological. Cesare Lombroso identified the female physiognomy thought most likely to determine criminal propensity.


This was the new science of "criminal anthropology" matching the general fascination with Darwinism and physical anthropology , where scientists sought pathological and atavistic causes for criminal behaviour. While he credited criminal women as being stronger than men, the consequence was that prison would hardly affect them at all. Lombroso concluded true female criminals were rare and showed few signs of degeneration because they had "evolved less than men due to the inactive nature of their lives".

Sigmund Freud theorized that all women experience penis envy and seek to compensate for this inferiority complex by being exhibitionistic and narcissistic , focusing on irrational and trivial matters instead of being interested in building a just civilisation. William I. Thomas published Sex and Society in which he argued that men and women possessed essentially different personality traits. Men were more criminal because of their biologically determined active natures.

Women were more passive and less criminally capable. In The Unadjusted Girl he argued that women have a greater capacity to love than men and they suffer more when they do not receive social approval and affection. The "unadjusted girls" are those who use their sexuality in a socially unacceptable way to get what they want from life.

The female criminal forgoes the conventional rewards of domesticity by refusing to accept prevailing modes of sexuality and seeks excitement, wealth, and luxury: a pursuit that may conflict with the interests of the social group as it also exercises the freedom to pursue similar goals.

Feminist school of criminology

Strain theories are criticised by feminists as betraying a double standard. When male offenders commit a crime under certain conditions of opportunity blockage, their commission of crime is somehow seen as a "normal" or functional response. When women commit crime, Strain Theory views it as some sort of "weakness".

Naffine probably represents the best example of this critique, but there are other critiques, such as the characterisation of females as "helpmates" or facilitators of crime in the Strain Theories of Albert K.

Recently Published - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology

Cohen , and Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin. The research methodology in Social Learning Theories , such as Edwin Sutherland 's Differential Association Theory , is criticised for relying on male examples, using case studies of males only, and being a male-dominated perspective that glamorises the male criminal, or at least the sociable, gregarious, active, and athletic characteristics of the male criminal. Similarly, Social Control Theories , such as Hirschi's Social Bond Theory, focuses almost exclusively on social class at the expense of gender and race.

Adler proposed that the emancipation of women during the s increased economic opportunities for women and allowed women to be as crime-prone as men.

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While "women have demanded equal opportunity in the fields of legitimate endeavours, a similar number of determined women have forced their way into the world of major crime such as white-collar crime , murder, and robbery" Adler, 3. She suggested that as women were climbing up the corporate business ladder, they were making use of their 'vocational liberation' to pursue careers in white-collar crime.

However, feminism has made female crime more visible through increased reporting, policing and the sentencing of female offenders and, even then, the statistical base is small in comparison to men.

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The 'new female' criminal turns out to be the 'old maladjusted masculine female' of traditional criminology, rejecting her proper feminine role such as institutionalising rather than incarcerating women who commit 'male' offences such as robbery, i. Adler's 'sisters in crime' appears to work within the frameworks of traditional criminology rather than a feminist one. For an examination of gender in crimes of violence, see Alder. A debate in the recent criminology literature has focused on the handling of female offenders as they are processed through the criminal justice system.

There are two competing perspectives. The chivalry or paternalism hypothesis which echoes the perception of female inmates as victims, argues that women are treated more leniently than men at various stages of the supposedly male-dominated justice process as a function of the male desire to protect the weaker Crew: ; Erez, The "evil women" hypothesis holds that women often receive harsher treatment than men in the criminal justice system and suggests that this different treatment results from the notion that criminal women have violated not only legal boundaries but also gender role expectations Chesney-Lind, ; Erez, Simon predicted that the criminal justice system would start treating men and women offenders equally.

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Sex differentials in sentencing are subject to a variety of interpretations, and not all feminists want the criminal justice system to treat women equally. It seems that women are not committing the "big take" offences like stock fraud and other white-collar crimes, or bank robberies. Wundersitz and Crew consider the chivalry and paternalism factors in the process. Farrington and Morris found some empirical evidence that women did receive less severe punishments, but female offenders are far more likely to be first-time offenders, and to have committed a less serious form of the relevant offence; they stole smaller or fewer items, used less violence, and so on.

Prior history of offending, and seriousness of offence, are fundamental factors in determining severity of sentence, for any offender.

Sherlock Holmes and his Contribution to Criminology

Once these variables are entered into the equation, it is possible to conclude that female offenders are not being treated any differently from males in equivalent circumstances. In a study of convictions in a Californian population in the s Kruttschnitt found that sentence may differ with the extent to which a woman is economically dependent upon someone else for her day-to-day existence: the more dependent she is, the less severe her disposition. Thus, the degree to which a female offender can be shown to be under informal social control may produce a lighter formal sentence.

Chapman studied the connection between labour force participation and [ clarification needed ] , and revealed an increase in female criminal activity during times of economic hardship. The smallest increases in arrests coincided with periods of the greatest increase in economic activity with the most common offense being that of shop lifting. These findings would seem to support a theory of a relationship between employment and crime rather than that offered by the 'women's liberation thesis'.

An absence rather than availability of employment opportunities liberation thesis would seem a more plausible explanation for increases in female crime. Criminology texts usually do not cover the broad possibilities that may account for female criminality. Smart argues that this determinate model of female criminality assumes an "inherent and natural distinction exists between the temperament, ability and conditionability of men and women".

Past studies of women have developed myths about female criminality [ citation needed ] ; criminologists have explained female criminals as being more "cruel and sinister than that of the male. She is described as unnatural, masculine" Burke , and lacking the qualities that would make them reserved and obedient females. This approach has been criticised [ according to whom?

Smart argues that the differences that exist between males and females are of little importance in the study of crime as the factors that cause crime are "culturally determinate rather than a reflection of the natural qualities of the sexes" Feminists have levelled complaints at this angle of criminology that assumes females are controlled by their biology and are incapable of thinking for themselves; feminists point out that while criminological thinking has surpassed the gloomy days of biological determinism and the predetermined actor model of crime, criminological explanations of female crime has not.

Some criminologists suggest a link between "hormonal changes in pregnancy, menstruation and female criminal behaviour" and crime Burke [ verification needed ].