Female Victimization, Male And Female Offending, Neutrality Of Theories, And How The Media Plays Into The

Female Victimization, Male And Female Offending, Neutrality Of Theories, And How The Media Plays Into The

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“Gender violence is one of the world’s most common human rights abuses. Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined… people can perceive violence against women as evil and tolerate it at the same time” (Belknap, page 288). This quote depicts the many obstacles that women face when victimized in the criminal justice (CJ) system. Candace Kruttschnitt explores the study of female victimization, male and female offending, neutrality of theories, and how the media plays into the gendering of crime. Kruttschnitt points out the question of whether gender disparities and if they are handled in a more neutral manner or if they need more attention. She begun with early studies and their relationship to women in the criminal justice system. Mears, Ploeger and War et all studied gender differences that are found in both perceptual studies of friends’ delinquency; Kruttschnitt points out that “what is most striking about this work is the increasing attention that is being drawn to the ways in which girls are more susceptible to, and selective about, their peers, even in the context of violent offending, than boys” (Kruttschnitt, page 3).
Kruttschnitt also takes a look at “pathways” research and its attention to the effects of physical abuse on both males and females. When surveying both men and women, it was found that abuse was an important risk factor that leads to offending. The author states that although evidence says otherwise, males are more likely to underreport incidents of sexual abuse than females. Kruttschnitt reminds that it is “important to bracket the emphasis being placed on the role of child abuse as a “ge...

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...ment, but women have different needs than men do. A majority of women inmates are in prison for nonviolent crimes (either financial crime or drug related crimes). Mental illness is extremely prevalent in women’s facilities yet it is uncommon to find a treatment program in them; with female delinquency fairly common, their facilities are far and wide making it almost impossible to keep in contact with their families. “Women offenders have been cast first and foremost as victims (and sometimes as deserving victims if their race, demeanor, and sexual or offending histories did not comport with middle-class standards), and sometimes, they have been cast as sad, pathological offenders” (Kruttschnitt, page 1). Its unfortunate to think that although we as a society treat men and women completely differently, the criminal justice systems threats them as though they were one.

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