Perceptions of female offenders: How stereotypes and social norms affect criminal justice response

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We live in a society in which stereotypes of women and social norms suggest women are less violent than men. We operate from the belief that if a woman commits a crime, it was because she retaliated because of her own victimization or committed the crime under duress or oppression. Perceptions of female offenders are often perceived as victims who commit crimes as a self-defense mechanism or as criminal deviants whose actions strayed from typical womanly behavior. Such cultural norms for violence exist in our gendered society and there has been scholarly debate about how male and female offenders are perceived and how this perception leads to differential treatment in the criminal justice system. This debate is primarily based upon theories associated with stereotypes and social norms and how these prescriptive norms can influence both public and criminal justice response. Scholars in psychology, sociology, and criminology have found that female offenders are perceived differently than male offenders and this ultimately leads to differential treatment in the criminal justice system. This interdisciplinary book provides an evidence-based approach of how female offenders are perceived in society, how this translates into differential treatment within the criminal justice system, and explores the ramifications of such differences. Quite often perceptions of female offenders are at odds with research findings as well. This book will provide a comprehensive evidence-based review of the research that is valuable to laypersons, researchers, practitioners, advocates, treatment providers, lawyers, judges, and anyone interested in gender equality within the criminal justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerceptions of Female Offenders
Subtitle of host publicationHow Stereotypes and Social Norms Affect Criminal Justice Responses
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781461458715
ISBN (Print)1461458706, 9781461458708
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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