Street Woman

Street Woman

Street Woman

Street Woman

Excerpt

For a long time, the social sciences were silent on the topic of the criminality of women. It was a silence that lasted a quarter of a century, from the publication of Otto Pollak The Criminality of Women in 1950 to the appearance in 1975 of Freda Adler Sisters in Crime and Rita James Simon Women and Crime . The particular thematic interpretations advanced by Adler and Simon instantly captured the interest of the media and stimulated their colleagues to attempt to specify further or refute their findings. Their efforts were pathbreaking, then, and for that reason they are important. That their original theorizing may have led much of the interested public as well as some of their colleagues down an intellectual dead-end street, however, has only recently become apparent.

Both works elaborate a theme that links increases in the criminality of women in the United States since the late 1960s to the contemporary "women's movement." Simon attributes a dramatic rise in crimes against property committed by women to an objective change in the circumstances of women made possible by the women's movement: recent increases in their labor force participation. Adler, on the other hand, attributes what she sees as a general increase in the criminality of women to a subjective change: recent shifts in sex role attitudes and orientations. Both explanations have been shown to have serious flaws and this fact is an impetus for the advancement of alternative explanations.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.