Gap analysis: a study explaining gender variations in offending with particular reference to the workings of social controls

Stubberfield, Sophie (2014) Gap analysis: a study explaining gender variations in offending with particular reference to the workings of social controls. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This study examines gender variations in juvenile offending, with particular reference to the role of social controls as a possible explanation of why females commit fewer crimes. By using relevant literature it begins by establishing the size and nature of the gap in offending between the sexes, examining both official statistics and self report studies. It then goes on to critically discuss current key theories which attempt to explain why such differences in offending rates exist, drawing from the fields of biological positivism and feminism whilst acknowledging the limitations of each. The discussion highlights that while the existing literature that is available on the topic for review is limited, it does display an underlying theme of the important role that social controls have in directly and indirectly influencing the assigned appropriate gendered behaviour of boys and girls. Having acknowledged the importance of social controls the study then focuses upon Hirschi’s theory of social bonds, critically reviewing the theory itself as well as the limited number of studies which have attempted to apply it to both genders. By means of empirical study, through the use of online self completion surveys, and semi-structured interviews, this study analyses the levels of social controls experienced by young males and females in order to assess the explanatory capabilities. It concludes that although stark differences are not apparent through all elements of Hirschi’s social bonds, the element of belief displays a vast disparity in strength between the sexes and therefore warrants further, focused research.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 08:50
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:44
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/15896

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