We're not really bad

Radio Times

We’re good girls

“Any comment you make about gender is a generalisation,” says Tim Robertson, “but on the whole it is perfectly true to say that men commit crime and women help people out of crime,”

Our prisons are overflowing with men, while women account for less than five per cent of the prisoner population.

Generally accepted facts

Most crime appears to be committed by males
Gender differences are the most significant feature of recorded crime
4 out of 5 convicted offenders in England and Wales are male
By the age of 40, 9% of females as opposed to 32% of males will have a criminal conviction
Males are more likely to be repeat offenders, have longer careers and commit more serious crimes

There are 84,731 people in prison in Britain and according to the latest figures, 80,915 of them are men. Less than five per cent of this country’s prison population is female, and the trend is similar elsewhere in the western world. In France, it’s about three per cent; in Germany, just under six. The global median is 4.3 per cent, according to figures from the International Centre for Prison Studies.

In 2011, men accounted for about three-quarters of all criminal court cases and out-of-court disposals (warnings, cautions and so on).

“Certainly since industrialisation [and the availability of reliable data]… you have a very consistent, established finding that women are the minority of offenders, they don’t commit such serious crime, they don’t do it so often, and their criminal careers are shorter and less professional,”      Professor Frances Heidensohn


Why do fewer females commit crime?

Maybe women commit more crime than it appears but are simply better at getting away with it.

Maybe they commit the sort of offences that don’t go to court.

Maybe judges and magistrates are more lenient with women because they have children to look after.

Maybe they are less genetically inclined to commit crime.

Maybe their role in the home reduces their opportunity to commit crime.

Maybe their upbringing leads them to be more risk averse and caring.

Maybe they have more subordinate jobs which reduces the opportunity to commit serious crime.

Maybe they see crime as a predominately male activity.

Maybe they are more likely to be deterred by the consequences of being caught.

Maybe they don’t have the required skills or knowledge to commit serious crime.

Maybe there’s more pressure or encouragement on women to behave well and be more responsible.


Do women face discrimination in the crime place?

Financial difficulties and so on affect men and women alike. Yet from pickpocketing to white collar crime to assault, men are more likely to offend than women.

Maybe the criminal world reflects the the world in general and men have most of the good or top jobs.   Women are statistically less likely to hold senior positions in financial companies where there are opportunities to commit embezzlement, money laundering and serious financial crime.

‘The world of organised crime tends to be very male-dominated, operating on strictly traditional gender roles where women tend to take domestic, sexual or care-giving roles rather than being directly involved in the gang’s operations.’   Professor Frances Heidensohn

A consistent research finding is that males commit more crime than females. This phenomenon is known as the gender gap in offending.

To come to some understanding of this gender gap you need to look at the issue of gender and crime from a variety of angles, not just in terms of what may prevent women from becoming criminal in the first place, but also, how they are seen and treated by the police and the criminal justice system.

One also ought to ask why males commit such a high proportion of crime



Jessica Abrahams Telegraph

C N Trueman “Women And Crime”

Women, Gender and Crime      mackesyscrime.co.uk

Gender and Crime     Slide Share 

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