Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gender Correlation of Delinquency

According to Siegel, Welsh, and Senna (2007), “there are also some distinct gender differences in the effect. For males, the path runs from delinquency to problems at work and substance abuse: For females, antisocial behavior in youth leads to relationship problems, depression, tendency to commit suicide, and poor health in adulthood” (p.151). They also contend that when we discuss gender differences we must keep in mind that there is little evidence that proves “males are more impulsive than females” (p. 151).

Siegel, Welsh, and Senna (2007) also claim that there are gender differences in violent behavior. Male juveniles are more likely to use a gun in a murder of a friend or acquaintance. “In contrast, the typical female is as likely to kill a family member as an acquaintance and is more likely to use a knife” (p. 178).
Humes (1996) discussed the gender differences in sentencing for male and female criminal delinquent behavior by stating, “Of the four people involved in the failed robbery of Shorty’s house, George has fared the worst. Bambi and JoJo, whose criminal records were no better than George’s, were under sixteen; she got straight probation, he went to a probation camp in the mountains outside of LA for six months” (p. 119).

One of the earliest researches conducted in female delinquency focused on Trait Theories. Dr. Mosher stated that early views of female delinquency were that females who were involved in criminal behavior where inherently evil or physically maladapted. Dr. Mosher went on to discuss Cesare Lombroso’s theory on female delinquency. Lombroso claimed that women were lower on the evolutionary scale than men, more childlike, and less intelligent. According to Siegel, Welsh, and Senna (2007), Lombroso came up with the masculinity hypothesis “suggested that delinquent girls had excessive male characteristics” (p. 179).

Penis envy was one of the earliest claims of female delinquent behavior. According to the video tape lecture (2), Dr. Mosher said that ‘Freudian Theories claim that little girls lost their penis and therefore are vengeful. Seigel, Welsh, & Senna (2006) also interpret the Freudian Theories as followed; Sigmund Freud maintained that girls interpret their lack of a penis as a sign that they have been punished. Boys fear that they can be punished by having their penis cut off, and thus learn to fear women. From this conflict came penis envy, which often produces an inferiority complex in girls, forcing them to make an effort to compensate for their “defect”….

At mid-century, psychodynamics theorists suggested that girls are socialized to be passive, which helps explain their low crime rate. However, this condition also makes some females susceptible to being manipulated by men; hence, their participation in sex-related crimes such as prostitution. A girl’s wayward behavior, psychoanalysts suggested, was restricted to neurotic theft (Kleptomania) and overt sexual acts, which were symptoms of personality maladaption (p. 183).

Humes (1996) discusses the correlation between the losses of a parental figure at a young age to the possibility of adolescent delinquent criminal behavior. Humes (1996) stated, It was tough for Carla’s mother to get a handle on her daughter. The girl had always been closer to her father…She was his little sidekick, working on the car, mowing the lawn, walking to the hardware store to mess with the bins of bolts and nuts and tools: if Dad was doing it, Carla wanted to do it.

His death in a car accident when she was nine devastated Carla leaving her depressed and withdrawn for many months, then resentful of her brothers, sisters, and mother when they picked up the pieces of their lives and tried to move forward (p. 48).

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Kate Smedley said...

That's a fascinating article Chris, I had to read it twice .. very interesting about how women are brought up to be passive, hence their susceptibility to manipulation in later life.... I do see that among some of my friends. Excellent and well written.

Chris Stonecipher said...

Thanks Kate

The Ancient Digger said...

I am one of the few that was brought up to be strong willed and opinionated. I thank my mother for that.

Chris Stonecipher said...

Hi Lauren,
My wife is the same way. Strong willed and opinionated. My mother is not. She lets my dad make all of the decisions without question.

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