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SOCIO 453: Week 1 & 2 notes

by: Akshita Patel

SOCIO 453: Week 1 & 2 notes SOCIO 453

Akshita Patel
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Gender and Crime
Regina Benedict
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Akshita Patel on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCIO 453 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Regina Benedict in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Gender and Crime in Sociology at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.


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Date Created: 01/30/16
Gender and Crime  Lecture 1: Gender  What is Gender? o Gender is number one predictor of criminal behavior (across cultures, age groups,  ethnicities) o Males commit more crimes than females  Crime: offense against society; behaviors; violating laws o Two types: Mala in se; Mala Prohibita  o Mala in se: murder, robbery, rape, assault o Mala Prohibita: crimes only b/c legislation said so; ex. Speed limit o In some areas, women are catching up to men in regards to crime, ex.  embezzlement  o Crime and Deviance difficult to distinguish o Deviance: violating social norms (not necessarily a crime) ex. Vegetarians o Crime is a type of deviance while deviance is an umbrella  In sociology, gender and sex differ o Sex: biological difference between males and females o Gender: social expectations that are associated with being male and female o Society is very categorizing  If society sees a male, they expect male categories, and same for females o Social expectations of male and female  Female: organized, caring, graceful, sensitive/emotional, pretty, motherly,  proper, dependent  Male: messy, dominant, independent, masculine, protective, stoic,  physical, strong, non­emotional o News headlines: the age at which female become insecure is decreasing Lecture 2: Victimology (1/22/16)  Victimology in its most simple form is the study of the victim or victims of a particular  offender  The thorough study and analysis of victim characteristics – May also be called “victim  profiling.” o Physical traits, education, occupation, history, medical history, use of drug or  alcohol o Society also want to know why a person was victimized of a crime, in addition to  investigators  The reason good victimology is important is that the victim constitutes roughly half of the criminal offence and is as much a part of the crime as the crime scene, weapons, and eye  witnesses.  This is especially true when we are presented with a live victim, as this was the last  person to witness the crime, and may be able to provide the best behavioral and physical  description of the offender.  The victim has traditionally been neglected in police investigations.  But, according to some researchers – often the best way to approach a profile is through  the victimology, and is one of the most beneficial tools in classifying and solving a  violent crime.  Questions investigators want to ask themselves: o Why was this particular person targeted? o Was the person targeted or was the person a victim of opportunity? o What are the chances of the person becoming a victim of random?  The method of approach is a term that refers to the offender’s way of getting close to his  victims.  There are generally 3 methods of approach, described a con, surprise, and blitz. o Con: describes an offender who deceives a victim into believing an imaginary  situation exists, with the intention of luring the victim into a more favorable  position for the offender, or lowering the victim’s guard to make the attack easier. o Surprise: usually characterized by an offender laying in wait for his victim, then  quickly subduing that person. The offender may wait for certain conditions to be  met (such as allowing a car to pass), or may be relatively un caring about the  presence of eyewitnesses. o Blitz: surprise approach may be combined with “blitz” approach. This approach is best described in relation to the degree of force used and the presence of any  weapons and their role in the attack. Gendered Structures of Violence (1/22/16)  What does gender­based violence mean to you? o Violence based on gender: male and female; mostly women being victims  What are examples? o Domestic violence, sex trafficking,   Where does it occur?  GBV is often divided into two interlinked categories o Interpersonal violent – refers to an act of economic, sexual, psychological or  other violence perpetrated by an individual against another individual o Structural/institutional violence refers to any form of structural inequality or  institutional discrimination that maintains a person in a subordinate position,  whether physical or ideological, o other people within her family, household or  community.  GBV is manifested through a multitude of actions, including forced marriage of young  girls, trafficking in persons, female genital mutilation/cutting, female infanticide, male  rape, violence directed at lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender individuals, sexual  violence, verbal abuse, etc..  Types of gender­based violence o Over physical abuse (battering, sexual assault, at home or in the workplace) o Psychological abuse (deprivation of liberty, forced marriage, sexual harassment) o Deprivation of resources needed for physical and psychological well being (health care, nutrition, education, means of livelihood) o Treatment of women as commodities (trafficking in women and girls for sexual  exploitation)  Sites of gender­based violence o Family: primary site of gender violence  Prepares its members for social life, forms gender stereotypes and  perceptions of division of labor between the sexes  Is the arena where physical buses and/or psychological abuses occur.  o Community/Society  As a group sharing common social, cultural, religious or ethnic belonging,  it perpetuates existing family structure an power inequalities in family and society  Justified the behaviors of male abusers aimed at establishing control over  women in family, and supports harmful traditional practices such a  battering and corporal punishment  Workplace can also be a site of violence. With in governmental service or  in a business company, women are vulnerable to sexual aggregation o State  Legitimizes power inequalities in family and society and perpetuates  gender­based violence through enactment of discriminatory laws and  polities or through the discriminatory applications of the law  Associated form of violence is Violence Against Women and Girls  In 1994 – Violence against Women Act – recognized gender­motivated violence as a hate crime o Hate crime: calls attention to motive Lecture 3: Domestic Violence (1/25/16)  On average, a woman will leaver her significant other for 7 times before she leaves for  good  Some reasons for not leaving: children, authority, blackmailing  Lecture 4: Blaming the Victim/Theories of Victimization (1/27/16)  First theory was developed by Wolfgang in his study of murders in Philadelphia.  Victim Precipitation theory argues that there are victims who actually initiated the  confrontation that led to their injuries and deaths.   Although this was the result of the study of only one type of crime, the idea was first  raided that victims also might play a role in the Criminal Activity  This theory refers to the theory of criminology where the victim of a crime is believed to  have provoked or incited the criminals acts of the offender  The theory is most commonly associated with crimes like homicide, rape, assault, and  robbery  While most theories focus on the acts and intentions of the offender, victim precipitation  seeks to understand the interaction between the victim and the offender.  Under this theory, the victim is viewed as an Active Participant in the crime, which  happens in two ways: o First, the victim is the participant in the crime who acts first o Second, the victim encourages or provokes the offender to commit the crime  Victim Precipitation theory also relates to interactions that make a victim susceptible to  crime.  This application of the theory is known as Victim Facilitation, and it concerns situations  where a victim’s negligence or carelessness makes them more vulnerable to criminal  conduct. o Ex. Studying in the library and leaving all the stuff open while you run to the  restroom and when you come back, all the stuff is gone  Facts about victimization: o Victimization is more likely at night (6 pm to 6 am)/ Personal larceny is more  common during the day, with more serious crime occurring at night. o Crime occurs more in open public areas, although rapes and simple assaults tend  to occur in homes o Crime is most frequent in central city areas o Men are twice as likely as women to be victims of robbery and assault.  o Victim risk diminishes rapidly after age 25 o Unmarried/never married people are more likely to be victims that the married or  widowed o The poor are more likely to be victims of crime o African Americans are victimized at the highest rates  Lifestyle theory or Lifestyle­Exposure theory is a theory of victimization that  acknowledges that not everyone has the same lifestyle and that some lifestyles expose  people to more risks than do other lifestyles o Ex. Prostitutes b/c of their lifestyle such as working hours, location, etc.  Within the victimology literature, lifestyle exposure theory asserts that violent offending  and other forms of antisocial behavior are indicator of a lifestyle that places individuals at increased risk for violent victimization o Ex. Bartender, Drug dealers, etc.   The Proximity Hypothesis suggests that crime is less a function of life­style, but rather  is based on close proximity  Victims and criminals live in the same high­crime areas, characterized by poor, densely  populated, highly transient neighborhoods  The probability of being victimized is more a function of where one lives than one’s  lifestyle  Feminist Perspective: o Concerned with victimization of women o Feminism seeks that elimination of all forms of gender inequality. The goal is not  to push men out but to pull women in. Feminism is a set of theories about  women’s oppression and a set of strategies to change it. o According to studies about violent victimization of women, there are four strands  of feminist theory  The first is Marxist feminism, which hypothesizes that “women in the  lower class often are situated among men who are frustrated by their own  economic conditions and this frustration leads to violence against women” o According to this theory, women then become targets of violence because men  find the need to take out their aggression on them.  The second strain is Liberal feminism, which states that women are  oppressed by men and taught to serve the needs of men in a patriarchal  society, where men feel the need to maintain power and control o Under this theory, female homicide rates should decline once women are given  the same rights and power as men.  The third is Radical feminists who agree with liberal feminists, but argue  that gender equality could lead to increased violence as men try to regain  their control and power through the use of violence  Finally, Socialist feminists combine Marxist and Liberal feminism  viewpoints, and maintain that “both absolute and relative measures of  deprivation will be important predictors of violence against women” o Under this theory, once women establish equal status to men, female homicide  victimization should decrease since men with more resources should be able to  appropriately handle their frustration and women will have the power and  resources to leave a violent situation.  Victim blaming: o  occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them o Occurs mostly because of defense mechanism o Why do we blame?  The Just World Hypothesis is based on the idea that the world is a just  place, and that people ultimately get what they deserve it. Good people get good things and the wicked will be punished Lecture 5: Victim Impact: Listen and Learn (Video) (1/29/16) 


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