Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Simon, Rita J.: Women and Crime
Karen F. Lahm
In 1975, Rita J. Simon authored a pioneering book called Women and Crime . It was one of the first publications to examine women and their criminality from a sociological/gendered perspective. Prior to its publication, female criminality was often attributed to mental, emotional, and biological weaknesses embedded in the nature of women. Even the mainstream theories of criminology (i.e., strain, bonding, differential association) provided very little explanation of how and why women engaged in crime. Most of the “traditional” theories of crime simply applied the theoretical explanations of male criminality to those of women criminals. With the Feminist Movement of the 1970s in full swing, Simon's work delved into the sociological forces surrounding women's opportunity to engage in crime. She investigated crime statistics in the United States from the early 1950s to the early 1970s and concluded that increased labor force participation, via the women's liberation movement, led to increased ...