Women in prison for dating
you have a very consistent, established finding that women are the minority of offenders, they don't commit such serious crime, they don't do it so often, and their criminal careers are shorter and less professional,” she tells me.“There's a general assumption that it must be a sociologically-based difference.” Biological versus sociological Some people have of course argued that it is biological rather than sociological: that men are naturally more violent, for example, or that they’re stronger and therefore more capable of committing some crimes.
But his language is nonetheless revealing about the kind of background assumptions that might be at play during sentencing decisions.
One influencing factor in the past was thought to be a difference in opportunities.
Women face discrimination “in both the legitimate and illegitimate worlds,” as Heidensohn puts it.
One idea - the so-called “chivalry theory” - holds that paternalistic judges and authority figures are more lenient on female offenders, explaining the lower number of women behind bars.
The evidence on this is complex and contradictory: there is a competing view that judges are sometimes harsher on women because criminal behaviour deviates further from what is expected of them.