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Do men commit more violent crimes than women?

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Criminology- Commission Of Violent Crimes By Men And Women In The United Kingdom


Do men commit more violent crimes than women?



Sex differences in the world of crimes are primarily the differences between the men and women population as perpetrators of violent crimes. Studies that measure such rate of differences in crimes are generally related to the field of criminology. This field of study attempts to demonstrate a causal relationship between the biological and criminal factors which in this case is the sex ratio of crimes. In this research study the researcher aims to examine and analyse the types of crimes, the ratio of crimes committed by men and women in the United Kingdom and further scrutinizes whether the amount of violent crimes committed by men are more than the number of crimes committed by women in the country. 


In the world of crimes the sex differences in crime give an idea about the men and women as the perpetrators of violent crimes. This study relating to the crime data is known as criminology and in this research study the researcher aims to identify the rate of crimes amongst men and women in the United Kingdom (Corbett, 2007).

Researchers have suggested that women are generally less aggressive (Tomes, 1978). However, women show their aggression in more secret and passive manner. For instance females depict more verbal aggression rather than physical aggression (Corbett, 2007). Further there are data that shows that men generally use more physical violence than women under different context such as dating, marriage etc.

Nevertheless, in the international arena research study conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that 78.7% of the homicide victims are found to be males and in almost 193 countries out of 202 listed countries it is more likely that men are killed than women. Again in countries like Tonga, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and Hong Kong again the victims of homicides are more females than males.

In the present data analysis, it is observed that women are more likely to be offenders in cases of partner-violence. Studies suggest that in most cases the women are the sole offenders rather than the male counterparts.

Even though there are lots of difficulties in the interpretation, the crime statistics render a method to investigate such a relationship the existence of which would be fascinating from the view of gender differences (Smart, 1977). The apparent difference in the rate of crimes between men and women is mainly due to the social and cultural elements. It might also be due to the biological factors or because the crimes generally go unreported.

The primary objective of this research is to examine and analyse the rate of violent crimes committed by the men and women and identify whether the number of violent crimes committed by the men are more than that of women.

The scope of this research study is to focus on the violent crimes committed in the United Kingdom in the last couple of decades. The research project then gives different data and information regarding the present status of crimes in favor of men and women and examines how and whether the violent crimes committed by the men are more than that of women.

Literature Review:

For the purpose of conducting an appropriate study on the crime rates among the men and women in the country of United Kingdom it is essential to take the help of the research works of a number of eminent scholars. To conduct this research the researcher has also taken the help of a number of scholars. In the book “Women, Crime and Criminology (Routledge Revivals): A Feminist Critique” by Carol Smart (Smart, 1977) the feminist scholar gives a detailed study of the nature of female criminology. She gives a number of statistical data on the violent crimes committed by the females in the country of United Kingdom. She also gives detailed data about the number of females convicted for the selected offences in the Courts including the Magistrate’s Courts. She further discusses on the contemporary and classical studies on female criminology in the book (Smart, 1977). Further in this book a comparison has been made with the crime levels and the rate of crime in the United Kingdom and that of the United States. This book is of great help as it not only provides the significant data but also vividly describes feminist criminology.

The second important source found to be of importance to the researcher is the journal article “Gender and Crime: Toward a Gendered Theory of Female Offending” by the authors Darrell Steffensmeier and Emilie Allan (Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996). The article deals with the gender gap in the world of crimes. This article is important since it touches some of the key questions relating to gender and crime such as the stability of the gender gap with respect to the time and place, the traditional sociological theories of crime and how well the gender – neutral and gender specific theories are able to explain this gap (Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996).

In order to understand the crimes rates and level of crimes during the 18th century the researcher takes the help of another article “A "Torrent of Abuse": Crimes of Violence between Working-Class Men and Women in London, 1840-1875” by Nancy Tomes (Tomes, 1978). The author reflects the society and crimes of the 18th century and gives an elaborate description of the crimes committed by men and women in that period. This article helps the researcher the compare and contrasts the existing crimes with that which took place in that period (Tomes, 1978).

There are a number of other books that the researcher has consulted such as the “Gender & crime” by Silvestri and Crowther-Dowey (Silvestri & Crowther-Dowey2008) , “Understanding gender, crime, and justice” by M. Morash, , “The invisible woman. Belmont” by J. Belknap, (Belknap, 1996), “Gender, crime, and criminal justice” by S. Walklate (Walklate, 2004) . Some journal articles that the researcher had referred are “Gender and Crime: Offense Patterns and Criminal Court Sanctions” by I. H. Nagel, and J. Hagan, “The United Kingdom Threat Assessment of Serious Organised Crime” (Nagel & Hagan, 1983), “Blind Justice: “Seeing” Race and Gender in Cases of Violent Crime” by I. Nooruddin (Nooruddin, 2007) and “Gender and Gangs: A Quantitative Comparison” by K. E. Bell (Bell, 2007).

Research Method:

The research method undertaken for this study is a combination of empirical and non-empirical research methods. A part of the research is also qualitative as a number of crimes levels have been researched through collection and analyzing of data.

Qualitative research is the kind of research that is non-quantitative. In this form of research the researcher collects data, analyses those data and interprets them by observing people or through given statistical data from various sources. A number of things are included in qualitative research such as the meanings, definitions, characteristics, description, symbols and metaphors. This kind of research is more subjective and utilizes various methods for the collection of information through individuals and other sources. Generally this kind of research is extremely exploratory and open ended.

The study is based on a qualitative method of study where the statistical data regarding the various crime rates of men and women have been given and explained.

Research Question:

There is one research question that has been chosen for this study on the crimes committed by men and women in United Kingdom.

· Do men commit more violent crimes than women?


In this research study the researcher aims to analyse and examine whether the violent crimes committed by the men are more than that of the violent crimes committed by women. The hypothesis of this research study is that women commit less violent crimes as compared to men in United Kingdom.

Recommendation and Conclusion

A particular theory known as the sex role theory suggests that men and women in their childhood socialize differently and therefore the men are more delinquent. This theory has been explained differently by different scholars. Some of the scholars state that there are clear differences in gender when socialization is concerned (Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996). Women are controlled more strictly and are more supervised whereas the men are generally encouraged to take various risks and be more aggressive. Hence the men are more inclined to commit crimes and also have more opportunities.

On the other hand the feminist perspectives state that since the society is patriarchal women are generally understood only when they are under male domination. There are scholars who state that most of the crimes committed by women are powerless crimes as they are committed by women who are powerless (Smart, 1977).

Over the last two and a half decades the research on women criminology has generally focused on women and crime and how men entered the equation with regard to the control they had over the women counterparts. Contemporary times have suggested that the focus of research should be on the comparison of crime rates between men and women. This research study hence focuses on the comparison between violent crimes between men and women in United Kingdom (Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996).

It has been observed after analyzing and examining the stories of approximately forty women criminals that a woman usually turns to crime when the disadvantages in their lives outweigh the advantages in their lives. In most cases the women turned to crimes as a rational choice. It is seen that when there is no rewards from the society then the women generally do not want to be bound by the conformities of the social norms. It is usually then that women take to crimes. However, whatever is the reason for women to take up crimes the amount of violent crimes committed by the men are comparatively much higher than that of their women counterparts.

In this research study the researcher aims to examine the various theories that deal with the levels and rate of crimes of both men and women. There are a number of feminist theories that deal with the gender crimes and women as criminals rather than as victims. An observation of these theories would widen the knowledge of crimes by women and would assist in the study relating to rate of crimes in United Kingdom.

Critical Evaluation:

While conducting a research work on the comparison of crimes between men and women in the United Kingdom there are a number of limitations and weaknesses of the proposed research which includes the time constraints also. However, there are also a lot of advantages of conducting research in this particular field of study. Primarily making the quantitative predictions is difficult to some extent. This area of research is such that there are a number of participants in this research study and in such a case it is not very simple to test the hypothesis and theories. Further the data analysis and collection of data is extremely time consuming and figuring out the time limit for the research proposal such a study would suffer from time constraints.

Nevertheless, there are also a number of advantages of carrying out a study in this particular field of criminology. When the researcher carries out a research in this field the knowledge on the feminist criminology as well as the other areas of criminology would increase to a great extent. This research would be extremely helpful to carry out further research in the area of criminology in the coming years for the researcher. An outlined research in this area has helped the researcher to understand the various theories relating to crimes in United Kingdom, the rate of crimes in different areas, the number of violent crimes committed by individuals, the gender and crime theories and theories of feminist criminology that reason the commission of crimes by the women.


Belknap, J. (1996). The invisible woman. Belmont: Wadsworth Pub. Co.

Bell, K. (2007). Gender and Gangs: A Quantitative Comparison. Crime & Delinquency, 55(3), pp.363-387.

Corbett, C. (2007). Vehicle-related crime and the gender gap. Psychology, Crime & Law, 13(3), pp.245-263.

Morash, M. (2006). Understanding gender, crime, and justice. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Nagel, I. and Hagan, J. (1983). Gender and Crime: Offense Patterns and Criminal Court Sanctions.Crime and Justice, 4, p.91.

Nooruddin, I. (2007). Blind Justice: “Seeing” Race and Gender in Cases of Violent Crime. Politics and Gender, 3(03).

Silvestri, M. and Crowther-Dowey, C. (2008). Gender & crime. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Smart, C. (1977). Women, crime, and criminology. London: Routledge & K. Paul.

Steffensmeier, D., & Allan, E. (1996). Gender and Crime: Toward a Gendered Theory of Female Offending. Annual Review Of Sociology22(1), 459-487. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.22.1.459

The United Kingdom threat assessment of serious organised crime. (2006). Trends in Organized Crime, 10(1), pp.52-57.

Tomes, N. (1978). A "Torrent of Abuse": Crimes of Violence Between Working-Class Men and Women in London, 1840-1875. Journal Of Social History11(3), 328-345. doi:10.1353/jsh/11.3.328

Walklate, S. (2004). Gender, crime, and criminal justice. Cullompton, Devon, UK: Willan Pub.

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