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Gender and Crime

4. Feminist Criminology

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In this module, we think about the 'feminist turn' in criminology, focusing in particular on: (i) the overwhelming androcentricity of criminology prior to the 1970s, and the attempts by female criminologists to take a more holistic approach – i.e. one that included women and women's experiences; (ii) the shift in focus from the perpetrators of crime to its victims, and to the fear of crime, both of which had been largely ignored in criminological studies focusing on men; (iii) the link between victimization and the commission of crime; (iv) the work of Kathleen Daly and the idea of men's and women's 'pathways' into crime; and (v) the extent to which women's 'pathways' into crime are a result of the patriarchal society in which they find themselves.


In this course, Dr Karen Evans (University of Liverpool) explores several topics related to gender and crime. In the first module, we think about the differences between men and women as perpetrators of crime. To what extent, in other words, is there a difference between the kinds of crimes committed by men and the kinds of crimes committed by women? After that, in the second module, we think about the differences between men and women as victims of crime. In the third and fourth modules, we explore the various theories that have attempted to explain female offending, including the theories of Cesare Lombroso, W. I. Thomas, Otto Pollak, Freda Adler, and Kathleen Daley, before turning in the fifth module to consider how some of the more recent, feminist theories of criminology have enhanced our understanding of male criminality. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the role played by gender in the criminal justice system in England and Wales, and consider whether the criminal justice system would be better served by pursuing substantive rather than formal equality.


Dr Karen Evans is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool. Her work has focused, although not exclusively, on communities in excluded neighbourhoods and their responses to marginalisation and deprivation. From the early 1990s this focus on the urban experience took Karen into research which was more criminological in nature as the fear of crime and victimisation increased in many neighbourhoods.

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APA style

Evans, K. (2021, August 23). Gender and Crime - Feminist Criminology [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Evans, K. "Gender and Crime – Feminist Criminology." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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