What, if anything, has the discipline of criminology learned from the inclusion of a gendered perspective?

3043 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 13 Pages
What, if anything, has the discipline of criminology learned from the inclusion of a gendered perspective?
Gender and Crime
Module: Soci308
Deadline: 13/01/2014
Assignment 2: 2,500 words
Word Count: 2,500
Module Leader: Dr Karen Evans
Student I.D. 200187509
What, if anything, has the discipline of criminology learned from the inclusion of a gendered perspective?
In order to whether the discipline of criminology has learned anything from the inclusion of a gendered perspective, this essay will outline historical criminological discourses, addressing key perspectives that differentiate men and women based on biological make-up. This essay will focus on early criminological theorists need to prove criminology as a science,
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Smart (1977) points out that statistically, when women are known to authorities, it is most likely in relation to petty crime, such as prostitution or shoplifting (Smart, 1977).
According to Burke (2009), the 19th century saw the rise of biological positivism and atavism, scientific explanations of criminal behaviour, accredited to the work of Cesare Lombroso, Raffaele Garofalo and Enrico Ferri. These men believed scientific methodologies could offer insights into why men commit crime, hoping to prove those who committed crime were biologically different to ‘normal’ individuals (Burke, 2009). As a result, biological determinism has had a significant impact, often influencing common-sense ideals, informing the production of criminological theory, social policy and institutional legal agency that can still be seen in modern criminological theory. However, Hopkins Burke (2009), notes that, Lombroso’s later work, considers social factors as potential causes for crime committed by both men and women (Burke, 2009).
Smart (1990) argues that theorists such as Lombroso (1895) were concerned with explaining men’s involvement in committing crime as a resulting from biological ‘abnormalities’, arguing that criminals could be identified by

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