Theoretical Evolution of Female Crime
Sex is a crucial variable in predicting criminality. There are many characteristics in crime related to women, such as: women commit a smaller share of crimes, the crimes they commit are different(less serious, less professional, less likely to be repeated), and fewer women are in penal establishments. However, female participation within the criminal system is increasing and patterns of male and female crimes appear to be converging. The number of women in prison increased by almost 100 percent during the 1990's. Yet, the offenses for which women are imprisoned are less serious than those committed by men, including 149 fine defaulters in 2000. There are also more than 32 percent of women in prison that are first offenders compared to 14 percent of men.(rouncefield,1) Therefore, because female crime has began to increase, more critical studies of criminological thought in the female mind have been done. Before the majority of mainstream theories were researched on male criminals and interpreted predominantly by male researchers. However, by analyzing the evolution of the criminological thoughts in relation to women and the new theories that take specific considerations for female crime, a better understanding can be made of the reasons women participate in criminal activities.
The evolution of criminological thought in relation to women begins with the value a female puts on protecting her own life in order to enhance her reproductive success. This is due to the fact that the infant survival is more dependent upon the mothers care and defense rather than the fathers. Therefore, disputes among women are chiefly connected with the acquisition and defense of scarce resources because of their higher parental investment.(Campbell, 1) However, their aggression is more likely to be indirect or low-level direct combat. Also it is said that women are more likely to show fear and are l