Gender Specific Theories of Crime Causation.


In Scotland, 83% of people convicted of criminal acts in 2014-2015 were males ( Females do commit less crime than males and still commit all types of offences. Males have a higher percentage than females in property crime -67 % to 14%- and violent crime -77% to 15% ( Female prison population has risen faster than males, 25% to 66% during 2011-2012 ( These statistics show that females have lower rates of crime compared to males, which can be due to sex-role differences in society.

Sex-role theory involves the process of socialisation and helps to explain gender and crime ( Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) argued that sex-roles within the ‘nuclear family’ are key in society (Thompson, K.2017). The father is the leader, while the mother offers emotional support towards children (History Learning Site.2017). Children are socialised into two sexes: male and female. Males are aggressive and masculine, while females are feminine and domesticated ( The norms and values in society associated with femininity are not related to crime, whisle masculinity is more likely to lead to crime (Thompson, K.2017).

The socialization of sex-role is apparent early in children (Boundless.2017). Girls are strictly supervised compared to boys, therefore resulting in boys becoming more delinquent. In adulthood, it creates the sense of males being criminals rather than females (History Learning Site.2017). Sex-roles also creates a sense of control over females as the patriarchal society does not allow females to commit crime. They are controlled in their family, work and society as a whole (History Learning Site.2017). Statistics show that women are less likely to feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark than men, 64% to 86%( proves the impact sex-roles has on specific genders in relation to crime.


Boundless. (2017). Gender Socialization. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Jan. 2017]. (2017). Gender | The Critical Media Project. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Jan. 2017]. (2017). Crime & Justice. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jan. 2017].

History Learning Site. (2017). Who Commits Crime? – History Learning Site. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jan. 2017]. (2017). Podology :: Sociology Podcasts. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Jan. 2017].

Thompson, K. (2017). Gender and Crime: Sex-Role Theory. [online] ReviseSociology. Available at: [Accessed 16 Jan. 2017].


2 thoughts on “Gender Specific Theories of Crime Causation.

    • I believe that socialisation is important, but not the only answer to why women are committing a lot less crime. A disadvantage of the sex-theory role is that it overlooks the treatment of women by the police and courts. The ‘chivalry factor’ which Eileen Leonard suggested, that an individual’s biological sex can create more challenges. Woman are treated worse than some men in prisons as they can be seen as ‘doubly deviant’ for going against their role as a woman to be feminine and breaking the gender norms of society. Courts and police can treat women harsh to show an example to society. This can act as a deferent and prevent women from committing more crime.


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