Feminine Criminology Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Feminist Criminology and Victimization Theory

Feminist Criminology

Feminist criminology theory proposes that social and ethnic structures that lead to gender oppression will increase the prevalence of criminality among the oppressed (Bernard, 2013). In most cultures, including the west, there exists a history of subjugation of women at all levels of society. The feminist movement in the United States and elsewhere accordingly sought to reduce or eliminate the power of these social, legal, and religious sanctions that relegated women to second class citizenship. This was the driving force behind the emergence of the feminist criminology model.

In support of the feminist criminology model, Bernard (2013) points out that some women within society have a higher risk of incarceration. In the U.S., this high-risk demographic is non-white, young, living in poverty, under-educated, and unmarried with children. There also tends to be a multi-generational history of drug/alcohol problems and domestic violence. This demographic represents one of the most vulnerable groups within American society, politically and legally.

In support of the feminist criminology model, Simpson and colleagues (2008) interviewed 351 women detained in a Baltimore criminal justice facility and found that these mostly African-American women (94%) found their way into the facility through pathways significantly distinct from men. Surprisingly, 54% were adult-onset offenders, a finding which contrasts with the view that criminal behavior for males generally begins in adolescence. Adult-onset women offenders were less likely to have a criminal history, criminals for friends, to use violence offensively, or to experience violence generally. They were, however, more likely to be victimized by an act of violence, such as rape, robbery, or assault than their younger peers. The main factor discriminating adult-onset female offenders from childhood-onset or adolescent-onset offenders, however, was that they were significantly more likely to be married. This too contrasts with the male offender research suggesting that marriage is protective against criminality. The pathways to incarceration therefore differ significantly between men and women, due in part to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bernard, April. (2013). The intersectional alternative: Explaining female criminality. Feminist Criminology, 8(1), 3-19.

McCollister, Kathryn E., French, Michael T., and Fang, Hai. (2010). The cost of crime to society: New crime-specific estimates for policy and program evaluation. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 108(1-2), 98-109.

Simpson, Sally S., Yahner, Jennifer L., and Dugan, Laura. (2008). Understanding women's pathways to jail: Analysing the lives of incarcerated women. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 41(1), 84-108.

Wilcox, Pamela. (2010). Victimization, theories of. In Bonnie S. Fisher and Steven P. Lab (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Feminine Criminology" (2013, August 30) Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

"Feminine Criminology" 30 August 2013. Web.25 September. 2020. <

"Feminine Criminology", 30 August 2013, Accessed.25 September. 2020,