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Women and the Criminal Justice System, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1151

Research Paper

Feminists believe that the main root of women oppression stems from a patriarchal society, which means a society that is considered male dominated, male centered as well as male identified. The criminal system of justice is mainly gendered to the concept that every definition of criminal acts, criminals, and policies that are used to control crime are mainly devised from the male who are considered as the reference category. In the past both women and girls seemed to be excluded from past studies in relation to causes and predictors of delinquency as well as criminal behavior. On the other hand, female criminal behavior was considered less significant and serious compared to male delinquency, which deserved little attention. In instances, that the justice system concentrates on girls and women the situation involves consistent focus of their sexuality together with conventional gender roles. Present research has continued to indicate that the present justice system tends to treat women in different ways than men.

Feminist View on Gendered Justice System

Gender seems to play a prominent aspect to gain a perspective on who commit  different crimes, reasons for committing the criminal acts, individuals who are mostly victimized, and ways that the criminal justice  tend to respond to offenders as well as victims. It is necessary to understand the present women state, and ways, which gender is associated to the justice system and crime. The provision of a comprehensive investigation on historical women evolution in the justice system and effects of various feminism waves have on policies or practices in relation to women in the system remain significant.

Literature Review

            Until recently, the aspect of  criminological theory as well as research concentrates on the explanation of male criminality as the male gender are viewed as the normal characters in criminology(Minas, 2003).  In the past female criminality, theories comprise of biological, psychological, economic, and social elements (Crawford & Rhoda 2004). Theorists have tried to discuss female criminality independently, without alternative male criminality theories.

Unfortunately, various such theorists make many assumptions in relation to the female psyche, which remains blatantly sexist devoid of empirical support (Macklem, 2003).  The second approach deals with conventional theories that were developed to discuss male criminality in relation to women. In addressing, the subject criminologists have applied many theories all male samples to find out if they also apply to women as well as girls (Jaggar, 2004). Others seem to have borrowed from present theories or have recanted the rational of the theories.

Several feminists have explained the degree to which science seems to have tainted with typically male concept to social reality. Women as well as girls tend to exist when the difference from the male gender is dominant and normal (Riger, 2000). The outcome of such analysis has increased attention on the criminological theory touching on girls and women research.

A re-analysis of the general assumptions, interests, and research on theoretical frameworks is more than addition of women in the empirical research in studies on legal as well as law institutions (Maher & Tetreault, 2001). The research should offer an encompassing enterprise that discusses questions on gender on criminology disciplines and sociologic studies. Recent research seems to have contributed to the understanding of the lives of women and ways that comprise of simple contrasts among men and women lives (Foster & Tsarfati, 2005). The disparity that is evident in men and women divide the two groups into sex and gender differences.

Gender differences are defined as those ascribed to the society in relation to the expectation of the social classes. All these are linked to expected social roles in that sex dissimilarity remains the biological differences. Majority of the differences are identified by the society as apparent in men and women, with gender differences not biologically determined (Deutsch, 2007). The socially created differences are deep-rooted mostly in inequality. In fact, many of the organizational structures, comprising of the American justice system seem gendered. This means they are based on discrimination among the sexes (Russo, 2006). In most cases, if an analytical unit or organization gendered, it means gender is not an addition of the ongoing processes that is gender neutral.

Legal cases in the past confused the differences in gender and sex that has been to the disadvantage of women founded on the societal as well as cultural differences misconception. considered immutable ( Collins & Moyer 2008). Legal dissertation in the past has failed to differentiate the differences in sex from gender disparities, viewing the two aspects as intrinsic and not recognizing the society role in disseminating the gender inequalities (Steinbugler, Press & Dias, 2006). Even though the contemporary patriarchal social configuration is not as influential as it was, many states have continued to operate from a man perspective in relation t the justice system. The laws seem consistent with experiences and perceptions of men (Afshar & Maynard, 1994).

Men are always the ones viewed as non-gendered subjects when dealing with criminology (Walklate, 2004). In other disciplines, men and not women supply the vital unexamined standard case. Men are not often compared to others to understand the fact that makes them different or special.

Conclusion

Patriarchy then has remained a part of quality definition of society and culture in relation to criminal justice as well as criminology. The patriarchal domination has made many feminists to advocate for women law to understand, explain, and describe their legal positions. The situation should be aimed at enhancing the position of women in the society in regard to the law. However, various believe that the justice system is deeply founded in patriarchal assumptions to permit any positive consequential changes.

References

Afshar, H., & Maynard, M. (1994). The dynamics of “race” and gender: Some feminist interventions. London: Taylor & Francis.

Charles, N., & Davies, C. A. (2010). Gender and social justice in Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Collins, T., & Moyer, L. (January 01, 2008). Gender, Race, and Intersectionality on the Federal Appellate Bench. Political Research Quarterly, 61, 2, 219-227.

Crawford, M, & Rhoda K .(2004).. Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Print.

Deutsch, F. (January 01, 2007). Undoing Gender. Gender & Society, 21, 1, 106-127.

Fenstermaker, S., & West, C. (2002). Doing gender, doing difference: Inequality, power, and institutional change. New York: Routledge.

Foster, M., & Tsarfati, E. (January 01, 2005). The Effects of Meritocracy Beliefs on Women’s Well-Being After First-Time Gender Discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 12, 1730-1738.

Jaggar, A. M. (2004). Living with contradictions: Controversies in feminist social ethics. Boulder: Westview Press.

Macklem, T. (2003). Beyond comparison: Sex and discrimination. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.

Maher, F. A., & Tetreault, M. K. T. (2001). The feminist classroom: Dynamics of gender, race, and privilege. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Minas, A. (2003). Gender basics: Feminist perspectives on women and men. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth.

Riger, S. (2000). Transforming psychology: Gender in theory and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Russo, A. (January 01, 2006). The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 8, 4, 557-580.

Steinbugler, A., Press, J., & Dias, J. (January 01, 2006). Gender, Race, and Affirmative Action. Gender & Society, 20, 6, 805-825.

Walklate, S. (2004). Gender, crime, and criminal justice. Cullompton, Devon, UK: Willan Pub.

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