Gendered Criminology Theory the Authors Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

A truly gendered theory would therefore provide a more unified theoretical framework. The gendered theory that the authors suggest has four key elements. These are the following. Male as well as female criminal behavior should be able to be explained by the theory. This is achieved through the understanding of the he organization of gender. For example, the organization "... deters or shapes delinquency by females but encourages it by males." This refers to norms and gendered identities as well as the effect of institutions and relationships that shape both female and male criminal behavior and criminal predilection.

A second key aspect of this theory is context. This is an essential aspect of the theory and is a concept that makes it different to many other theories on this subject. Context is the aspect that possibly raises this gendered theory to another level of significance. By context is meant that even when men and women commit the same crime there is a real difference in the "gestalt" of the offending. In other words, understanding and studying the contextual elements of the crime and criminal from a gender- sensitive point-of-view can help to shed light on gender differences and explain the anomalies that occur.

A third and equality important component of this theory is that women generally take different "routes" towards crime than do men. This is of course related to various gender stereotypes in the society. An example would be the blurred distinction between victim and victimization in women's experience and the importance of greater relational concerns among women.

A fourth component of the theory that perhaps refers back to more conventional approaches, is the emphasis on biological and reproductive differences. This is an important aspect and shows the inclusive nature of the theory.

This theory differs from many other theories mainly in its integrative appaoach and the way that it assimilates the positive elements of both conventional and progressive theories and combines them to make a more elegant and effective theoretical framework to study this subject.

The value of this theory, as claimed by the authors, is that it has a particular application to the understating of gender differences in crime and criminal behavior due to its focus on a gendered approach to the problem. It is also different, and possibly an improvement on other theories, in that it claims to be able to understand and deal with both male and female crime, especially from the standpoint of its four key components. The authors also make the important point that these key components are not exclusive but that there is a degree of flexibility and integration between the different conceptual areas.

Possibly the most significant of the key components is the focus on contextually. This aspect has been largely ignored by other theoretical approaches. The study is also significant in the incorporation into its theoretical framework of gender roles and stereotypes in the explanation of crime. For example, the significance and utility of the gendered perspective as advocated by this theory can be seen it its ability to explain why the reportage of female crime is highest in the category of minor offences, such as shoplifting ands passing bad checks. This aspect is seen against the tendency for women to focus on relationship aspects and protection of their families, whereas these crimes in a male context are largely the result of status protection. It is felt that this gendered theory holds a great degree of promise for future exploratory understanding of this complex issue.


Steffensmeier D. Emilie a. (1996) Gender and Crime: Toward a Gendered

Theory of Female Offending.…

Sources Used in Document:


Steffensmeier D. Emilie a. (1996) Gender and Crime: Toward a Gendered

Theory of Female Offending. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 22, pp. 459+.

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