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May 11, 2018 / C H Thompson

Feminist perspective of crime – revision notes with evaluative points

Gender and the criminal Justice System

  • An alternative approach is looking into how the criminal Justice system (CJS) treats women is known as the chivalry thesis.
  • The chivalry thesis says that women are treated more leniently than men by the CJS, such as treating women with my sympathy and respect, and so they are less likely to be convicted.
  • Anderson (1976) suggests that the CJS is male dominated and so has a stereotypical view of women as being helpless and naïve. Therefore women are more likely to be let off for offences.
  • Female offenders are generally treated less seriously than male offenders, and seen as less of a threat. This means that they are more likely to receive minor punishments such as cautioning and warnings.

(-) Heidenson came up with the double deviance theory. This is a criticism of the chivalry thesis as it instead argued that women are in fact treated worse by the CJS than men as female criminals are seen as doubly deviant. They have deviated from both their social norms as well as their gender norms.


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