Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Abigail A. Fagan & Joanne Belknap
Numerous feminist criminologists have noted the irony that although sex is likely the strongest predictor of criminal behavior, traditional theories of crime rarely included gender. In contrast, feminist theorists have paid more attention to these areas in recent years. Their work has greatly enhanced our understanding of the ways in which gender influences involvement in crime, including both offending and victimization. As Rosemarie Putnam Tong (1998: 280) asserts in her review of feminist theory, the greatest strength of the feminist perspective is its recognition of the complexity of human behavior and its ability to offer a “kalei-doscopic” view of the world, rather than assert a single, all-encompassing view of society. Feminist theories draw upon many different disciplines, including liberalism, Marxism, socialism, psychoanalytic theory, existentialism, postmodernism, and multiculturalism. Although united in their commitment to understanding and fighting the oppression of women in society, feminist thinkers posit different causes to the problem ...