women - Girls Women and Crime Selected Readings...

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Girls, Women, and Crime: Selected Readings. Chesney-Lind, Meda & Pasko, Lisa. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2004 ALICIA DEAL Sam Houston State University 04-20-06 Until recently females and their role within the criminal justice system has been largely ignored. Understandably, many studies of crime focused solely on men since they are over-represented in crime and victimization statistics. However, there are a small percentage of women who commit crime and a substantial amount who are victims of crime; their entrance into the criminal justice system; therefore, can provide an array of information that may hold the answer that many criminological theories seek: why do men commit more crime and why do some women commit crime? Comprehensive literature regarding the role of juvenile girls and women criminals is lacking; "Girls, Women, and Crime" seek to remedy this. This book is not exhaustive, yet it does cover a wide-range of topics regarding females and crime, from females as victims to females as perpetrators, from juvenile to adult crime. "Girls. .." provides the groundwork for why the topic of females and crime is crucial in the field of criminology and criminal justice. The book consists of a collection of "selected readings" from a myriad of authors and researchers that discuss the phenomenon of women's involvement and role in the criminal justice system. The goals of this book were to provide answers to two central questions: "how does gender matter in crime and the justice system?" and “what characterizes women's and girls' pathways to crime?" (p.vii). The book is broken down into four "parts" that contain four related essays each. These four parts are: gender and criminological theorizing, female juvenile delinquents, the woman offender, and women and prison. One of the major anomalies of many criminological theories is that it has only focused on male criminality and has generalized it to all aspects of criminality. The first two articles in Part 1 attempt to apply major criminological theories to that of female criminality. In other words, can theories that were the product of examinations of male criminality be applied also to females? The first article ("Gender and Crime: A general strain theory perspective," Brody and Agnew) examines general strain theory (GST), while the second article ("Explaining girls' and women's crime and desistance in the context of their victimization experiences: a developmental test of revised strain theory and the life course perspective," Katz) looks at both revised strain theory and life course theory. 1
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Broidy and Agnew examined stress literature to determine if concepts from GST explained female criminality. They subsequently sought to answer two questions: "how can we explain the higher rate of crime among males?" and "How can we explain why females engage in crime?" (p.3). They concluded that high rates of crime cannot be explained by males having more types of strain than females; in contrast, females experience just as
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women - Girls Women and Crime Selected Readings...

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