Assess The Impact Of Feminist Criminology

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Prior to the sixties, Feminism wasn’t a perspective taken seriously within the study of Criminology, however after the 2nd World War feminism and women’s rights (such as the 1920’s Women’s Suffrage movement) became more acknowledged within society and as a result Feminist Criminology emerged. Furthermore it has been suggested that Feminist Criminology simply developed due to feminists being resentful of the fact that females were not included within criminological research, regardless of the fact that gender is a particular important factor in relation to offending. (Blumstein et al 1986). As an illustration to feminist theories and their impact of criminological thinking, this essay will demonstrate the changes that feminism has made, not…show more content…
In contrast to this however Braithwaite (1989) voiced the suggestion that men disproportionately commit more offences and there have been many theories as to why that is and feminists themselves have stated that the majority of serious crimes including sexual and violent offences are committed by men (Wykes and Welsh 2009b) however they work hard for women to be recognised in contemporary criminologists research. In addition to this Feminist Criminological research has altered the perspectives that society has on women, or at least a percentage of it and they are recognised as more than a casual petty thief or prostitute. Even if this is relevant to modern day society, men’s offending is still seen as more of a social ‘norm’ and is accepted as a possible ‘role’ that some of society’s males acquire whereas women’s offending is considered to be abnormal (Messerschmidt 1993). It has been witnessed numerous times, when females who commit violent crime were scrutinised by the media and portrayed to be evil and in some cases suggested to be monsters. An appropriate contemporary example that illustrates this is the case of the Moors Murderers. These crimes were committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley; the gruesome two, sexually assaulted and murdered five children between…show more content…
In spite of this, feminism has allowed for the concealed nature of women’s victimisation to be revealed and in addition to this feminism has exposed evidence that women are more likely to be victimised by the men they know as opposed to strangers. (Wykes and Welsh 2009c). In addition to this feminism has also brought about the change in perception of rape as prior to the crime catching the attention of feminists, there was a predominant focus on the crime’s most extreme terms of violation and the view that it was unexpected and committed by strangers, whereas now it is known that rape is most likely to be committed by someone the victim knows, such as a boyfriend or husband (Furstenburg 1976). Another essential point not to be ignored when focusing on the contributions made to criminology by feminist criminology is the changes made to particular areas of legislation and policy through published research and campaigning (Wykes and Welsh 2009d). Examples of these legislations would include the recognition of Rape within marriage in 1991 and in addition to this ‘stalking’ became criminalised through the Protection from Harassment Act, 1997. Such legislations and policies have led to an improvement concerning sexual crimes as well as the betterment of treatment of female victims (Gregory and Lees 1999). Regardless of the fact that feminist work has

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