Describe the innate biological characteristics

Sex is commonly used to describe the innate biological characteristics of humans constituting their femaleness or maleness. Gender on the other hand, covers the social characteristics and usages associated with one sex or the other. Since such roles and customs can vary and be modified it follows that masculine and feminine the terms applied to the respective genders are much more flexible than female and male. In order to cover the subject of gender and crime it is important to explain its prehistory and standing as well as addressing the extensive material which appeared in the modern period of high fertility.

Of course the definition of what is a woman or a man by no means always straightforward. Since such roles and customs can vary and be modified it follows that masculine and feminine the terms applied to the respective genders are much more flexible than female and male. Feminism has raised many uncomfortable questions for criminologist and has been critical of mainstream criminology for its gender-neutral focus and its exclusion of women. When the female was considered, she was generally seen as being inferior to the male. Although conformity was generally to be appreciated, when women conformed it showed their inferiority.

This inferiority was of the same type whether it was seen as arising out of biological, psychological or social reasons. The woman was seen dependent passive, uncompetitive, immature, unachieving, unintelligent, emotional subjective and irrational. Feminists in various ways have challenged this view of women. A number of studies have shown that female emancipation is likely to have some indirect effect upon officially recorded cases of female criminality. These studies suggest a correlation between changing perceptions of women by bodies who enforce the criminal law and the increase in recorded female crime.

Thirty years ago women were less likely to be suspected of crime, when suspected they were less likely to be change and prosecuted and finally, when prosecuted they were less likely to be convicted than they are today. Today they are more generally seen as being equally capable of committing both legitimate and illegitimate activities . in other words belief in the constitutional idea that women are somehow, physically or psychologically incapable or unlikely to be criminal is weakening . this is reflected in the more than proportionate increase in the number of women in prison.

And most of types of crime committed by women are also committed by men and to a large extent both sexes live in the same environment and are subject to the same types of peer group pressures and effects on upbringing. There are a number of different strands of feminism each of which has impacted on criminology in different ways. Liberal feminism views women as an equal part of society. It centers on rights and non-discrimination. Criminology much of the work of this group has been associated with a study of the discriminatory practices of the criminal justice system, whether these be in favour of or more likely against women.

Socialist feminism is interested in the effects of both patriarchy and capitalism on criminality. Cultural feminism explores and often celebrates differences between men and women. It is interest in women’s culture and socializing qualities. Post-modern feminism celebrates difference in distinctive way. Its intention is to give voice to any element that may have been silenced in the past. Being woman-centred and stressing the importance of gender is social structures and relations are at least two importance key components.

As far as criminology is concerned there are if anything greater problems. Morris seek to define a canon work which has certain core feature although in a later account they suggest a diversity of perspectives. While Smart doubts the possibility and the validity of such enterprise, simply mixing feminism into criminology. Feminism is overtly political as its primary aim is to improve not criminology but people’s lives. Psychology is usually used to mean the study of the mind or spirit of people and the application of this knowledge to explain human behaviour and attitudes.

More specifically psychology is the study of individual characteristics or qualities such as personality. Most people would accept that every individual has a personality which is special to them. What is far more difficult to accept is that certain personalities will always or usually be criminal. It is therefore generally presumed that are can not predict criminal behaviour by studing personality. Personality theories have had practical uses in the treatment of convicted criminals the detection of certain types of criminals and in deciding how to deal with certain offenders.

These uses are limited, but none the less they are important and should not de ignored in any criminal justice system Personalities theories are more scientific than those put forward by the psychoanalyst, in the sense that they rely less on assessment and explenation of phenomena and draw more on mainly objective tests. For example: The MMPI test studies all suggest that there is a link between criminality and assertiveness hostility resentment of authority dynamic personalities and psychopathy.

It would be better to begin testing at a very young age and follow the children through to adulthood. Ideally the test should cover not only personality and official criminality. The researcher would then be better able to assess learnt from normal socialization or were the result of brush with the criminal justice system. Also show whether these crime or whether they are just more likely to be caught. The offender supposedly lacks the intelligence to comprehend the law or to control his own behaviour.

The nonofender is seem as intelligent enough to understand the law an control very low levels of intelligence may not engage in crime or because they are unable to recognize an opportunity for crime. The emphasis of this approach is on intelligence usually measured by IQ test rather than on the whole personality of an individual. The inadequancy of these test is one reason to view with some scepticism the conclusions of research on intelligence and criminality. Anyway theories they are more commonly based upon empricl research which can be more easily assumed.

Most of them assume that each individual has a central or core personality which can explain reactions to most stimuli and will determine the likelihood of becoming criminally involved. However different theories link different personality types to criminality, which means difficult to choose between them. The criminal justice system expects them to determine the responsibility of individual so that the court can better decide how to punish while the system, society and the offender all want the offenders behaviour to alter so as not to include criminality in the future.

A further study type when looking at physiological affects is to look at twin studies. Twin studies use concordance rates to compare twin’s behaviour. They look at sets of twins and compare whether or not both display the same behaviour. …

Another set of theories that attempt to explain crime is learning theory, which is based upon behavioural psychology. Behaviourists believe external forces not internal determine crime. Differential association theory was created by Sutherland (1939) and suggests that criminal behaviour is …

Whether our behaviour, actions and conduct are determined by nature, the genes given to us by our parents or by nurture, the factors of the environment upon us after birth and through childhood is a debate that has fascinated psychologists …

To be blunt the answer is both, but to different degree’s. Everybody has a pre-ordained response to stress on a purely physical level. When we are put into a stressful situation are body goes through a whole host of changes …

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