feminist criminology | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminology

Feminist criminology is a subfield of criminology that seeks to understand the relationship between gender and crime and examine how the criminal justice system reinforces and perpetuates gender inequality.

Feminist criminologists often argue that traditional criminology, which is primarily focused on male offenders, has ignored the experiences of female offenders and the ways in which women are disproportionately affected by crime.

Feminist criminologists use a variety of research methods, including interviews, participant observation, and content analysis, to study the experiences of women who have been victims of crime and those who have been involved in the criminal justice system as offenders or offenders. They also examine the ways in which gender influences the way in which crimes are defined, investigated, prosecuted, and punished.

Feminist criminology critiques traditional criminological theories, especially classical and positivist, which they argue doesn’t include the perspective of women and gender as a factor in understanding crime, as well as the criminal justice system as a whole.

Feminist criminologists also critique the way in which traditional theories of crime and criminal justice have ignored the ways in which crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as domestic violence and sexual assault, have been treated as private rather than public issues. They also argue that the criminal justice system is inherently patriarchal and that it reinforces traditional gender roles, which can make it difficult for women to get justice.

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Last Modified: 01/11/2023


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