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Assess the Explanations for Gender and Crime

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Outline and assess sociological explanations of gender difference in patterns of crime.

In this essay, I am going to assess the patterns of crime committed by males and females. Many general theories tend to neglect gender as a factor influencing criminality. There is a common assumption that males often commit more crime than women. The study of criminology have tended to be dominated by males, therefore the studies are done by men about men. The official statistics suggest that gender is perhaps the most significant single factor in whether an individual is convicted of crime.
The official statistics often comply with the common assumption that men commit more crimes then women. According to official statistics, in 2005, 1.8 million offenders were guilty in which 79% were male and 7% of these were aged fewer than 18. The ratio of male offenders to female offenders is four to one. The highest rates of offending for the most serious crimes were 17 year olds for males and 15 year olds for females.
Pollak (1950) argued that official statistics on gender and crime were highly misleading. He claimed that statistics underestimated the extent of female criminality. Pollack claimed to have identified crimes that are usually committed by women but which are likely to go unreported. According to him, nearly all offences of shoplifting and all criminal abortion were carried out by women. Many unreported crimes are committed by female domestic servants. Pollack accepted official definitions of crime when he pointed out all the offences of prostitution that were not reported. He also suggested that women domestic roles gave them the opportunity to hide crimes such as poisoning relatives and sexually abusing their children.
Pollak argued that the reason why females are often underrepresented in statistics could relate to a concept known as chivalry. Police, magistrates and…...

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