Incarceration Essay

2000 Words8 Pages
Introduction In Australia, rates of female incarcerations are increasing faster than rates of male incarcerations (The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2012). In order to explain this concept, the following must be addressed: why this is occurring/factors that explain this difference, whether or not this is a new phenomenon and the theory that best explains this disparity. The significance of this phenomenon will also be addressed from a theory-based and personal viewpoint. To establish explanations for this occurrence, the themes of: social change, increased gender equality, female criminality data and feminist theories/discourses will be explored Factors of Gender Incarceration Disparity: Social Change and Increased Gender Equality In Western countries, the role of women has significantly transformed (Diebolt & Perrin, 2013). Currently, there are less stay-at-home mothers and more women who enter the workforce, than ever before. Generations after generations see an increase in skilled individuals: both males and females (Diebolt & Perrin, 201). Goldin (2006) supports this notion by stating that decades ago, women were married so early that their identities were created after marriage. However, now, women marry late enough that their identities are formed before marriage. In the 1920s, most women would leave the workforce upon marriage (Goldin, 2006). Conversely, by the 1980s, the average age of a married female college graduate was 25. There was an increase of female attendance and graduation from college and there were no longer substantial differences in college majors received from men and women. Women’s societal roles had significantly changed and more focus was placed on personal success as well as creating a family,... ... middle of paper ... ...or their families is the only option for survival. Perhaps some female’s situations are so dire that the risk of incarceration is not a concern. Conclusion Overall, rates of female incarcerations are increasing faster than rates of male incarcerations for several reasons. Firstly, social changes (such as increased gender equality) have transformed the role of women. Now, females are less passive and have similar responsibilities to men (i.e. providing for their families), which, in dire circumstances, can motivate them to commit unlawful acts. Additionally, regarding the feminist theories/discourses, young females believe they do not have to work as hard to be seen as equal. The third wave feminist discourse, in particular, encapsulates the notion that anything men can do, women can do too, whether it be obtaining a successful career or committing illegal acts.

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