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The Gender Battles: Female Felons Join the Ranks

Media and entertainment has dictated the way that we as a society perceive “criminals” and “felons”. The movie and TV industry has painted a portrait that portrays the qualities and characteristics that resonate with us and the images that we have in the mind’s eye when we think of violent criminals. Generally we think of the scary man in the dark alley, biding his time before jumping out at us. While there may be situations wherein this is the case, the statistics are starting to show us a deeper, more complex image of what the modern “criminal” may look like these days.

The Rule of Thumb: Men Are the Perpetrators of Violent Crime

When looking at the statistics, the numbers point to the fact that men are generally the perpetrators of violent crime. The standard is that 90 percent of violent crime is committed by men. Aggression and aggressive tendencies are indicated as the reasoning behind the violent offense and why specifically men stick out for violent crime. Interestingly enough, studies show that men tend to be more aggressive and bigger perpetrators of violent crime when the community in which they live has a larger proportion of females than males. One theory behind this is that with more females, there is more male-to-male competition over sex partners and instability due to single-parent homes.

Women’s Immersion in Violent and Nonviolent Crime

However, modern women are starting to come to the fore and become perpetrators of violent crime, but in their own way. Women who are from societies where competition in the mainstay of the culture may become more competitive, may become more involved in contact sports, and may experience an increase in stress hormones and testosterone as a result of living in this society.

Gender Differences Between Female and Male Offenders

The main difference between female offenders and male offenders is in how each perpetrate violent crimes. Men, due to their larger size and physique, are more likely to perpetrate aggravated battery or assault. Women generally tend to be violent offenders in a more subtle way. When the Washington Post published an article comparing the murder weapons used between men and women, it was shown that men were two-thirds as likely to use guns; the second favorite was a knife. With women, guns are the most popular choice; however, women are seven times more likely to favor poison than men.

When Guns Are Not a Choice

If guns were taken away from the equation, then men were more likely to prefer beatings, blunt objects, and strangulation while women elected for stabbing, asphyxiation, poison, fire, and drowning, among others. When evaluating the use of poison itself, white women, as compared to Asian women or African American women, were more likely to use it, and murderers over the age of 30 chose poison as well. However, the victims of the poisoning make a difference, as they were less likely to be young adults, and more likely to be elderly or very young.

Reasoning Behind Female Involvement in Crime

Overall, the statistics pointed to the fact that women were most usually charged with nonviolent property offenses such as fraud, larceny/theft, and forgery, and less likely than men to be charged with a weapons-related offense. The main change that has been thought to motivate the increased presence of female felons is the “equal opportunities” for women to be offenders; the idea is that increased freedoms (reproductive, work, family roles, etc.) lead to greater opportunities to be involved in crime.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a violent or nonviolent offense, it is important that you have a strong advocate on your side. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik about the details of your case. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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