Researching The Criminal Woman Criminology Essay

As the celebrated English dramatist and poet, William Congreve, said in his drama titled ; The Mourning Bride: a calamity ; Heavn has no fury, like love to hatred turnd, Nor hell a rage, like a adult female scorn ‘d ” . This, I believe, shows the concealed power within a adult female ; the power to lead on the conventional image of a adult female, that is to pretermit all the features frequently associated to a adult female, and to perpetrate offense. This in bend, I believe, is the ground why so many people are intrigued with larning about why adult females do what they do. In this essay, I will be discoursing theories linked to female criminalism, statistics, every bit good as a few illustrations of female felons.

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Frequently plenty, we tend to look at a adult female as a soft being, capable of bearing and taking attention of kids, person who is unagitated and low tempered, every bit good as, capable of keeping a household together. This, nevertheless, is the conventional portraiture of a adult female and is extremely associated with the ‘Sex-role theory ‘ by the Functionalists which explains the socialization of females and males. This claim states that males are inclined to be tough, hazard pickings and to be aggressive, but females, on the other manus are socialised to be soft. Hence, harmonizing to the functionalists, males are more likely to be felons. Sociologist Frances Heidensohn, besides argues that adult females are less involved in offense because offense is gendered as a male activity whereas females exhibit ‘soft ‘ features. Nonetheless, many adult females around the universe have committed offenses, as can be seen in the instance surveies and statistics in the subdivisions below. Womans have loitered, stolen, stalked, and even murdered. This functionalist theory does non, in any manner, explain why a adult female, in the first topographic point would perpetrate offense, nevertheless, it does slightly associate to a theory by Cesare Lombroso ( 1835-1909 ) .

Lombroso believed that all offense was a “ Biological Atavism ” . This involved the scrutiny of the cranial capacity every bit good as the seventh cranial nerve characteristics which in bend could place biological condemnable traits. Lombroso concluded that females who committed offense had more masculine traits whereby the encephalon capacity and difference in skull was more inclined to that of a male. In his surveies, consequences showed that female felons besides carried the worst possible female features which include ; a deficiency of sensitiveness to trouble every bit good as compassion which are by and large controlled in adult females by what he called “ feminine failing and developing intelligence ” . This in bend, could mildly explicate the barbarous and unsafe personality of a female felon. Harmonizing to Lombroso ‘s survey, condemnable adult females had “ lacking moral esthesias, unstable characters, inordinate amour propre, crossness, revengefulness, and an uncontrolled sexual desire. ” Lombroso went on to state that the lone manner to stop female criminalism was to forbid condemnable significance so as to avoid the biological traits from go throughing onto another coevals genetically. More recent accounts look at endocrines such as testosterone which is proven to command degrees of aggression and choler.

A certain James M. Dabbs, Jr ( 1995 ) , from the section of psychological science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, conducted a batch of research on how high testosterone degrees are linked to offenses. He noted that high testosterone degrees were strongly linked to more violent offenses, and misdemeanors. This was besides proven in adult females, whereby “ high testosterone degrees were related to offenses of motiveless force, increased Numberss of anterior charges, and determinations against word ” . Dalton ( 1964 ) studied the effects of menses rhythms upon female behavior. Parker ( 1960 ) concluded that “ 62 per cent of the offenses of force committed by female prison inmates were committed in the premenstrual hebdomad ” . Parker claimed that hormonal or catamenial factors can act upon adult females to perpetrate offense in certain fortunes.

Although biological science seems to bring forth a convincing get downing point as to why adult females commit offense and is today more normally used as an account, sociologists frequently dismiss biological factors as they take a deeper expression into the environmental background of adult females who commit offense and the society which they live in. Feminist Sociologist Carol Smart, was a really of import figure within the Feminist Criminology universe. In her 1977 composing she stated ;

“ Our cognition is still in its babyhood. In comparing with the monolithic certification on all facets of male delinquency and criminalism, the sum of work carried out on the country of adult females and offense is highly limited ”

Since her authorship, one may really happen more theories and thoughts related to female criminalism, yet a few wide theories related to this facet of sociology continuously overlook the thought that gender may so be a factor “ influencing criminalism ” . “ This is despite the fact that official figures suggest that gender is possibly the most important individual factor in whether an person is convicted of offense ” ( Smart, 1977 ) .

Womans, due to the societal portraiture of functions as already mentioned above, is depicted as person who is unable to perpetrate offense. This in bend leads us to the “ Mad non bad ” theory ( Lloyd, 1995: seventeen ) . This is the thought that a adult female who commits offense must so be “ huffy ” as opposed to “ bad ” since she “ dared to travel against [ her ] natural biological presumptions such as ‘passivity ‘ and a ‘weakness of conformity ‘ ” ( Lloyd, 1995 ) . As a theory, this may, in bend, reflect the low figure of female captives, nevertheless, if we had to use this theory to Malta, research has shown that by the terminal of December 2011, Mount Carmel had 268 males and 252 females who formed portion of the sleeping-in population. Although I am non able to state if any of these patients really had anything to make with any kind of condemnable behavior, by merely looking at the Numberss, one can reason that the theory is inefficient in explicating the Maltese state of affairs because the Numberss of females to males is less.

Another theory is the “ Liberation Theory ” besides known as Freda Adler ‘s “ theory of Emancipation ” . This theory trades with the thought that of all time since the release of adult females, the rate of female criminalism has increased. Research, nevertheless, shows that female criminalism was on a rise before the release of adult females.

James and Thornton studied adult females captives and from their surveies revealed that the adult females who were imprisoned originally came from hapless and uneducated backgrounds. When asked for a ground as to why they offended, the responses received did non look to be linked to ‘liberation ‘ ( 1980 ) .

Upon looking for Sociological theories, I realised that Carol Smart was really right in her accusal. Not a batch of sociological theories are in fact linked entirely to female criminalism. Sociological theories try to happen a ground as to why people in general commit offense and seldom concentrate entirely on female felons. However, when looking for biological theories many were really found and these seemed to concentrate a batch upon why females commit offense and what brings them to perpetrate it. Personally, I believe that no affair how much we try to bust up our encephalons to finally calculate out the ground as to why females commit offense, it is non one that as such can be answered. We can go on seeking to come up with theories, which will finally ever be criticized by person who thinks otherwise. The truth is that every homo being has their ain manner of thought, and seeking to come up with a cosmopolitan account as to how people think or why they do what they do is instead impossible.

Following, I ‘m traveling to show tabular arraies and a graph demoing the Maltese state of affairs in our prison followed by a treatment on it ;

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The above information has been obtained from the site hypertext transfer protocol: // In bend, this information was provided by Corradino Correctional Facility, Valletta Road Paola, Malta, PLA 1518.

The tabular arraies and charts above present us with the exact figure of captives present in the Maltese prison and the sum of males as opposed to females who are or have carried out a prison sentence. Through the tabular arraies, one can look at the prison population over the old ages, the population of captives monthly throughout the twelvemonth 2011, the sum of captives over the months of 2012, every bit good as a hebdomadal update of the current month.

The Maltese prison transporting capacity is really meant to be 500 people. However, as one can observe, the sum of captives really remaining in our Maltese prison adds up to over 600 people, of which merely 45 are female captives. Looking through statistics, one can see the largest spread of captives between 2006 and 2007, whereby the sum of female captives increased by 12 whereas in the undermentioned old ages we can see that the figure was kept instead changeless.

Through these statistics, one can reason that in proportion to the entire sum of captives present, Malta has an highly little figure of female prisons. However, this does non intend that existent female criminalism is really low. One must maintain in head that a batch of offenses go unreported or undetected. Therefore, one can non presume that there are n’t many female felons in Malta. In fact, it is known that a batch of domestic force instances on work forces go unreported for several grounds, one being humiliation. As Katryna Storace stated in her article “ THE UNFAIR SEX ” ;

“ Domestic force has traditionally been understood as a offense perpetrated by tyrannizing work forces against vulnerable adult females. But recent informations is easy get downing to uncover a turning figure of male victims. ”

Ms. Ruth Sciberras, Manager of Domestic Violence Services at AppoA?A? , the national societal public assistance bureau, seconds the thought that a batch of domestic force instances upon work forces are non the existent figures and that in existent fact “ there is a concealed figure concealed ” . Such an illustration proves to one how the rate of female criminalism in Malta could really good be higher than what our prison is bespeaking.

Even so, one can non assist but inquire for the grounds as to why the 45 female captives are really at that place. The following tabular array, obtained from Formosa S. , ( 2012 ) CrimeMalta, nowadayss us with a good thought of the offenses for which adult females were incarcerated during the 2000s ( 2000-2009 ) .


Over 10 Old ages











Breach of Conditions



Court Order



Conversion of Fines






Contempt of Court









Escaped from Detention






False Evidence
























Although Loitering is frequently the common premise as to why adult females go to prison, the tabular array above really shows that adult females who have in fact ended up in prison were chiefly for transition of mulcts ( which is when a individual has received several mulcts, those mulcts are non paid, so hence converted into a prison sentence ) , drugs and besides larceny. Through this research and statistics we are now non merely able to find the exact sum of adult females in the Maltese prison, but besides have a clear indicant of the offenses that are largely committed by Maltese adult females of offense.

Here are two illustrations of the most Ill-famed female felons ;

Bonnie Parker

Famously known as “ Bonnie and Clyde ” , were shot to decease by officers on May 23, 1934 in Louisiana. They were believed to hold murdered 13 people, and involved in several robberies every bit good as burglaries.

Aileen Wuornos

A former cocotte who was executed in 2002 for killing seven work forces in the late eightiess and early 1990s.

As can be seen from all the research, a log of people have tried to happen the ground and solution for adult females and criminalism. Through shown statistics, Malta has a really low figure of female felons. This, of class, does non include concealed statistics – i.e. offenses which go undetected. The grounds as to why adult females end up in prison in Malta have besides been shown to be ‘safer ‘ so those abroad, whereby really small lives have been taken away by Maltese female felons. This subject has taught me a batch sing the female sex and societal outlooks on us. However to every regulation there is an exclusion, and no societal concept can forestall criminalism.


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