Essay about Has Criminology Been Gender Blinded

2271 Words May 5th, 2006 10 Pages
Criminology has been ‘Gender-blind' rather than ‘Gender neutral'. Discuss
It has been argued that the gaze of criminology has been primarily focused on male offenders, Cain (1989) argues that criminology is in fact incapable of speaking in gender neutral terms (cited in Walklate 2001: 19). A reason for this includes that history has been prepared to offer universal explanations of crime achieved by the study of the male offender.
Feminists such as (Naffine 1997: 18) believe that criminology has been ‘dominated by academic men studying criminal men'. A major concern for feminist writers on this subject is that for many the world is seen as a masculine one, despite facts clearly proving that it is made up of feminine and masculine
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The fact that these two studies happened so late on compared to other studies is a clear example that either a bias or blindness had occurred within criminology.
Prior to these few studies existed, to note them Cohen (1955) in which female delinquents were the focus and Hirschi (1969) (http://www.sociology.org/content/vol006.003/kalkhoff.html) both of which were criticised, the later for ignoring women's conforming and Cohen for the Famous saying "boys collect stamps and girls collect boys" (Walklate 2004: 31),
Although during the 1950's some studies were emerging no new explanation of female criminality was emerging and Naffine (1988) agrees stating that criminologists have been unable to view female crime in any other way except that of sexual terms due to the idea that women are passive carers has been kept (Walklate 2004: 31).
The 1970's saw the emergence of the feminist movement, which set its sights on the absence of women in criminology, Naffine however illustrates her believe that the radical labelling theory could have been adopted and become an excellent base for research into the bias against women (Naffine 1997: 40).
The wish of the feminists was primarily to give women a voice, to show criminology that women offending needs to be explained and to eradicate stereotypes that women

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