Women are generally considered to commit crimes in a significantly lesser percentage in comparison to men. Although this idea is widely accepted, the reasons behind it are rarely assessed. In this sense, if the reason behind the difference in tendencies to commit crimes is to be assessed, important differences between men and women must be determined. Therefore, the reason as to why women commit fewer crimes than men can be understood and proven based upon an assessment whether statistical data are in correlation with the assumption and after the correlation has been established an analysis of distinctions in terms of, cognitive, biological, sociological aspects between genders may be conducted.To establish the fact that there are indeed less crime committed by women in comparison to men, statistical data regarding offences and crimes must first be analyzed.
In one case wherein youths were the main focus, it has been established that the numbers of male offenders for a given span of time was several times more than the number of female offenders; in fact, more than 80% of the offenders were male (Commission on Youth [COY], 2002). Aside from the fact that there were more male offenders, it was also assessed that there was a significant difference or gap in terms of other forms of delinquent behavior. In terms of the numbers regarding the abuse and addiction with drugs and alcohol, the data were also pointing out that males are more involved with such actions in comparison to females (COY, 2002).The main method in order to refute such indicative information is in terms of the general population.
Hence, it is important to consider the global gender ratio. From recent estimates, the number of men is around 3.4 million while the number of women is almost the same as the number of men (United Nations [UN], 2008). Given this, there are really more crimes initiated by males than females since there are not much difference in terms of the total numbers for each gender.
Having established the belief that women generally commit less crimes than men indeed has basis and is supported by statistics, the comparison between genders in relation to the three characteristics mentioned can be done, beginning with the cognitive aspects.Cognitive aspect pertains to the way in which an individual processes and gives out information. Considered generally as factual in the field of psychology is the belief that women are superior in terms of verbal capabilities while men have a significant advantage in terms of visual and computational tasks (Sabbatini, 1997). In this sense, women are more capable of solving their disputes through verbal manners, which in a way obviously prevent emotional buildup and has the potential to solve or lessen a problem through peaceful means. Aside from this, women are also considered to be more sensitive towards emotions, meaning that they are able to adapt to sensitive situations and detect stress among peers in a more efficient manner (Sabbatini, 1997).
For men, however, anger and other negative emotions are left unmentioned and released through ways that are sometimes even more aggravating such as excessive drinking which expectedly constitutes negative responses through aggression or violence, either immediately or later on.One must keep in mind that the way in which an individual copes with stressing events is of importance when considering the likelihood of causing a crime. The reason behind this is that a significant causative agent of crime is the way in which the life of an individual has unfolded or developed in relation to the events observed. If an individual goes through or witnesses abuse or violence, it depends upon the individual as to how to process what he or she has seen (Pakes & Winstone, 2007). In relation to this, the strain theory, which attempts to explain what drives a person to commit a crime, asserts that when strain continuously builds up inside him or her, it reinforces his or her tendency to engage in criminal acts (Cote, 2002). A factor not commonly considered is the presence of differences between genders in terms of how stress is processed.
As discussed, women have better emotional coping mechanisms than men. Hence, women release or cope with stress in a significantly less aggressive way than men (Bravo, 2008).Aside from the cognitive capabilities, another point of comparison from a biological perspective that can be made is in terms of the general structure and supposed function of the body. From the analysis of its basic structure as defined throughout evolution, the body structure of men are more built for hunting purposes due to the presence of a more muscular body composition; in contrast, females have a higher body fat in general which are associated with the capacity to reproduce (Ellis et al., 2008). The differences in body structure provide insights into the core function of males and females in primal human communities.
Men are the hunters of food from animal sources, while women are those that care for the young and gather edible portions from plants and other vegetation. In addition, a key for the males to become more capable of attracting potential mates is through the amount of gathered food Since aggression and physical prowess are major aspects of hunting (although strategy is involved), and the human groups discussed in this point are ancient variants wherein stone tools were the epitome of hunting technology, this further presents the fact that men are built for aggression as needed in hunting, while women were originally more dependent as hinted by the factors for attraction (Marlowe, 2005). Hence, the primal actions of women are in accordance with being more subtle while men are more hostile, implying that characteristics more associated with crime are exhibited by men more than by women even during the earlier periods in human evolution.In terms of gender roles, it is true that majority of cultures and societies in a way impose specific actions required from men and women. The ways in which different cultures and societies delimit or control the supposed actions or behavior of women are through gender roles or gender-based stereotypes. A common example such stereotypes is the notion that women are given tasks related to household work and are passive and submissive in nature, while men are associated with the physical aspects of livelihood and are usually expected to be independent and assertive (Moghaddam, 2003). There have been significant changes in terms of gender roles throughout the years.For example, there is an increasing trend of women pursuing careers instead of being concerned only with matters at home; however, it is also considered as a fact that there are parameters in which the gender roles have not changed as exemplified by the fact that household tasks are still much associated with women (Moghaddam, 2003).
In fact, even though changes have been made, the effects of gender roles are still persistent. From a recent study, it has been established that the general female population are significantly less competitive in comparison to men. As a result, the women are commonly surpassed by men in terms of their careers (Ledin, Bornmann, Gannon, & Wallon, 2007).In relation to this, if women have a lesser tendency to initiate and to compete, then it is less likely that they will consider committing specific types of crimes. It is important to consider that a number of crimes are fueled by aggression which results into violence. Given that women are generally made passive by societal gender roles, then a significant agent in developing thoughts of crime is considerably minimized.
Having discussed the differences between men and women based on cognitive, sociological, and biological aspects, it is clear that even though there have been changes during the current era, the innate characteristics of both genders are still considerably intact as the changes are mainly cultural and sociological in nature while biological aspects including the cognitive capabilities have remained intact. In addition, from the points discussed, it becomes apparent that there are more differences between men and women than commonly assumed. Specific types of crimes are associated with impulsive, violent, and aggressive behavior (Robbins, 2000). The characteristics delineated in relation to the sociological, cognitive, and biological aspects of men are very much in accordance with the factors causative to crime.
Women, on the other hand, have both innate and socially affected characteristics that are in conflict with the usual characteristics that drive the occurrence of certain crimes. Therefore, it is true that women are less likely to commit crime due to the fact that their sociological, cognitive, and biological nature is less associated with emotions and characteristics that fuel criminal tendencies.