Women who do not conform to accepted standards of monogamous heterosexuality and motherhood are punished more harshly. Scottish judges were much more likely to jail women whose children were in care than women who they saw as good mothers. Feminists argue that these double standards exist because the criminal justice system is patriarchal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way the system deals with rape cases.
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Using the material from item A and elsewhere assess the value of the chivalry thesis in understanding gender differences in crime The chivalry thesis starts by arguing that men feel a protective attitude over woman because they are socialised into their certain roles and so they need to be kept on track. Woman are the care givers and so putting them in prison will take them away from this duty. If we look at the statistics it is visible that men commit more crime than women, they are given longer sentences than woman and they are found guilty of more crimes than woman.
Is there a gender bias in the criminal justice system? Are women and men treated differently by the police and the courts? There are two thoughts on this issue:. The chivalry thesis — chivalry means treating others, especially women with courtesy, sympathy and respect.
The evil woman hypothesis holds that women often receive harsher treatment than men in the criminal justice system and suggests that this different treatment results from the notion that criminal women have violated not only legal boundaries but also gender role expectations Embry and Lyons, For example, petty theft and other types of crimes that do not seem to map closely onto gender roles are not perceived to be as serious a type of offense for women as crimes of violence because women are not violent beings by the rules of gender roles. The chivalry hypothesis suggests that women who commit crime are awarded more lenient sentences than males who commit crime Chase,