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Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory

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Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory

Francis T. Cullen & Pamela Wilcox

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Lombroso, Cesare: The Female Offender

Heidi M. Baez

The Female Offender , by Cesare Lombroso, was the first modern criminological text to focus on the woman as a criminal. Lombroso, the Italian psychiatrist and physician, is often cited as the father of criminology, for turning to the individual as the subject of study in crime rather than the crime itself. This new approach to criminal studies is cited by Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson as criminal anthropology, the study of the “human body” and the human mind/psychology. In taking this anthropological approach to criminology Lombroso established his theory of the born criminal , a subspecies of the human race. Today, criminology has moved away from such notions of crime as natural or born into the person, and thus The Female Offender is widely discredited. Lombroso's The Female Offender is the first and most widely cited English translation of his Italian text, La Donna Delinquente , published in ...

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