This chapter described the distribution, extent and prevalence of male crime. It is clear that men commit most offences, especially violent crime; they are over-represented in most categories of crime in comparison to their female counterparts.
Men experience criminal justice agencies, such as the police, courts and correctional agencies, in different ways from women. Inevitably, more men come into contact with the criminal justice system, although they are treated in a genderneutral way in the sense that masculinity is not problematized. It is shown that current arrangements are not explicitly designed for men yet they effectively deal with the problems caused by, and the needs of, men.
A question running throughout this chapter is ‘Why do people commit crime?’ This dilemma has preoccupied theorists since the development of criminology and traditionally the discipline has been gender-blind in its reply. Drawing on the work of writers who have taken seriously the issue of masculinities and crime, we reviewed the contribution of two schools of thought: the structural and the psychosocial. Both approaches provide persuasive accounts of different aspects of the male crime debate, although there are other possible interpretations.
We argued that a human rights discourse provides a potentially complementary approach to come to terms with the crime and disorder of men. It was argued that men routinely inhibit the human rights of their victims and that they need to assume a greater degree of personal responsibility for their harmful actions. However, there are inequalities existing between men and some masculinities are marginalized, resulting in criminalization and over-policing. This latter group of men may potentially benefit from a human rights-based approach that highlights the salience of equality, fairness and justice.