Discussion on issues of crime and punishment, though, is a general issue and overall can be studied from criminology perspective, in most societies factors such as gender, patterns of committing offense, the commission of specific crimes among women and men and how to deal with their crimes have affected the criminal authorities wants separate and independent study. In a glance at the crime statistics shows that with the increasing presence of women in economic and social spheres, despite the growing trend in their criminal actions over the last few decades, generally have committed less crimes compared with men and the type of the crime they have committed was also less important and less severe. This amount of reduction in delinquency mainly can be explained by relying on gender attitudes and cultural beliefs towards men and women, which also forms the central theme of feminist debates.
In the present study which is an introduction on the effects of gender on committing a crime, it has studied the different aspects of the crimes committed by this group compared with men and has presented an analysis in this regard. To achieve this goal, at first, we have discussed the principles of criminology theories from feminist perspectives. Then we have had an analytical view towards the concept of gender (Chapter II), and have discussed the impact of gender on delinquency of women and men (Chapter III) and the impact of gender on the causes of committing crime and its prevention.
A glance at the history of criminology shows that crime has always been considered a male activity before the 1960s, so that there are not any traces of crimes committed by women in the crime statistics, thus any study has not been done in explaining their delinquency. This situation was considered normal in European societies which have studied crime since past decades and was not discussed. Men were lawmakers, enforcers and violators and formed criminal population, so penal system was a masculine system with gender perspectives. Such an attitude is reflected in both crime statistics and theories offered to explain crime. The history of criminology studies, except in limited cases, has lack of gender-segregated in criminal investigations before 1960s.
The absence of women in statistics and criminological analysis was often in the result of thoughts were towards women and their characteristics; an attitude that was considered women as sentimental and unreasonable creatures with physical and mental weakness, lack of power, decision-making and competition abilities and primarily unsuccessful in the social arena. For this reason, women were considered poor, low-value people and lower than men and had not had any status on issues related to the delinquency. Specifically, there are two views in relation to explanation of the role of women in delinquency: The first opinion is that, women due to their biological, psychological, social, environmental features easily adopt their selves with environment and gender comfortable with evident and impressive. Feminist views are based on two basic concepts of “sexism” “dominance and power”. The concept of “sexism” refers to set of contemptible behaviors and attitudes towards one of the two male or female. The concept of “dominance and power” refers to male dominance behavior over women, as a customary behavior social practice. New feminist perspectives are seeking to present a criminological approach based and according to gender. These views are in fact theories that explicitly show the effect of gender, or more specifically, the impact of layering and classification based on gender on the quality of criminal behavior. Such an attitude believes that mental concepts and experiences are not only affect by the system of governance, but also the predominant gender relations in society have essential role in shaping of these concepts and experiences. Feminist criminologists believe that we live in a capitalist and domineering society. A society where social behaviors are influenced by gender perspectives is caused by the same viewpoint.
Delinquency is a masculine act and belongs to young people who are at the age of criminal activity (18 to 40 years old) however, this issue does not prevent considering the fact that in recent years along with the presence of women in various social fields, we see the uncontrolled growth of their delinquency rates.
Considering the fact that anyone with any sex can commit a criminal act should reinforce the context of family and community with existing mechanisms and benefit from scientific and structural solutions to prevent crime and see fewer disorders in our society.
In terms of biology, it has been proven that women do not have much physical ability compared with men; so they cannot brawl, conflict and deal with others like men. Some criminologists allot other characteristics to offender women, like a very strong sense of revenge prevails among women or women have a strong sense of seduction and for this reason, in some cases, women are partner with men in their criminality.
Paying attention to the participation of women and men in the criminal acts shows the types of crimes they commit are different from each other; while men have a wide presence in violent crimes women try to participate indirectly in delinquency. Some criminologists believed that due to the biological and physiological characteristics of women their presence in some crimes was less and in particular crimes more. That’s why a group believe that abortion, infanticide or shop robbery are feminine crime.
Today, the more women have participate in public affairs so that the more equal share in different maters with men they gain so their criminal statistic will have an upward process. If the offender was under attention in a period and the victim had drawn the attention of criminologists in another period, the gender has been very important in the study of criminology in recent years. On the other hand, sociological approach which knew social matters effective in delinquency was more close to the findings of criminology on the effects of gender; because the position of women in the society and the issue of gender are related to this field. In this regard, comparing the crimes of men and women shows that some crimes are specific to female or the presence of women is more prominent on them. The crime statistics in recent years showed that women try to use masculine delinquency patters to commit crimes while trying to commit a violent crime. In general, it can be said that freedom of women in society and increase of their employment and weakening of social control are of the factors that have increased women’s delinquency.
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