SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Women commit less crime than men and their crimes are typically less serious, violent, and profitable. Most investigations of this “gender gap” in offending consider differences in social control or socialization. This helps explain overall crime participation disparities, but cannot account for the sex-segregated character of offending. Building on ethnographic research and feminist labor market analyses, our study explores how gender affects access to criminal opportunities. Using NIBRS data, we examine the effect a male co-offender has on women’s offending. We find that the presence of a male co-offender broadens women’s criminal involvement in distinctive ways.
Abstract: Women's violence has been viewed in gendered ways that are limited and one-dimensional. Such constructions are problematic in that they do little to address underlying disadvantages that foster this violence. This study investigates the complex context in which women’s violence is rooted. Through in-depth interviews with two marginalized populations of women—those who are homeless and those who work as exotic dancers—the author explores participants’ lived experiences of cumulative victimization characterized by abuse and violence, economic vulnerability, gender inequality, loss and dislocation, degradation, and social exclusion. This context severely constrains opportunities and choices available to the women in terms of livelihood, safety, coping, and survival. The women engage in violence as a way of resisting and responding to their cumulative victimization, and this violence has multiple meanings and is manifested in different ways. Ultimately, this study contributes to understandings of women’s violence while arguing for the expansion and reconsideration of related gender constructs.