Essay

Criminology Final Examination – Winter 2021 (125 POINTS) 

Essay must be typed (seven pages excluding bibliography) using a word processor, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right). Full credit for this essay is contingent upon your general analysis of the literature and ability to successfully integrate all of the readings (Siegel, L., 2019 and Walsh, A., and Jorgensen, C., 2020), course materials, and outside sources (i.e., peer-reviewed journal articles) in a clear and concise manner. Throughout this semester we have focused on various attempts to broaden the boundaries of criminology in an attempt to understand the causal factors that lead to criminality. Some criminologists view criminality as abnormal and search for factors that contribute to criminogenic behavior. Other criminologists view criminality as a natural phenomenon and look for the controls that keep people from committing crimes. Criminological theory and research are intended to suggest practical solutions to crime. If we want to reduce crime and help solve the crime problem in society, we must understand why it occurs. Today, “there are probably as many explanations for crime as there are crimes themselves” in the U.S. (Siegel, 2016:330). Crimes committed by men far surpass those committed by women, but the latter have been increasing. An increasing number of criminologists have turned their attention to social-structural theories to explain female criminality. (Adler, 1985:19-20, Agnew and Broidy, 1997:275-306:, Messerschmidt, 1986:41, Chesney-Lind, 1989:5-29).

Why have some crimes committed by women increased faster than those committed by men? Gender-based issues in crime have gained considerable attention, but criminologists do not agree on the nature or extent of female crime or the explanations for it. What accounts for the lack of attention to female offenders?

It is clear that criminologists do not agree with one another when defining the problem of female criminality and the apparent increases in such crimes. What issues, discussed by our authors and in the literature, are involved in the way that our society views female criminality? How do opportunity, economic marginality, and power control explain the extent and nature of female criminality? When defining women and crime, does it make sense to assess the amount of “social harm” caused and the criminal justice systems’ reactions to those crimes? Why or why not?