Individual and Cultural Differences - Individual differences by vivi07


									      Explanations of criminal

  Individual and Cultural Differences
         in Criminal Behaviour

What are these differences?   Why?   Brainstorm
Individual differences
   Age
   Gender
   Ethnicity
   Statistically delinquency peaks at 16-17
    years of age, then declines.
    However, the vast majority of offences
    are minor ones. A random sample of
    around 1,500 13-16-year-old London
    boys found that 70% had stolen from a
    shop (quoted in Moir and Jessel, 1995).
   Aggressive individuals are rejected by
    their peers and end up with other
    aggressive individuals (Pepler and
    Slaby, 1994).
   Alternatively, rejected children seek out
    and associate with other children with
    similar views on life (Cairns and Cairns,
Two areas of research interest:
    The existence of specific causes for
     juvenile delinquency like Attention
     Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
     and Conduct Disorder (CD)
    Whether juvenile delinquency persists in
     offending as adults.
   ADHD revolves around three principles:
    inattention,. impulsivity and
   A physiological explanation is an under-
    aroused frontal cortex.
   Another explanation could be that
    ADHD is a convenient social label for
    difficult children.
Conduct disorders
   This includes behaviours like stealing,
    fire-starting and running away from
    home as a teenager.
   It is estimated that 9% of American
    males under eighteen show this
    behaviour (Farrington, 1991).
Farrington, D.P. (1996)
   The Development of Offending and
    Antisocial Behaviour from Childhood to
Results (Farrington 1996)
   By the age of 32, 37 per cent of the males
    had committed criminal offences.
   The peak age was 17.
   Nearly three quarters of those convicted as
    juveniles were reconvicted between the
    ages of 17 and 24.
   Nearly half of the juvenile offenders were
    reconvicted between the ages of 25 and 32.
Results (Farrington 1996)
   Offending was very much concentrated
    in families.
   Just 4 per cent of the 400 families
    accounted for 50 per cent of all
   The worst offenders tended to be from
    large-sized, multi-problem families.
  Results (Farrington 1996)
     The most common crimes in late teens were
      burglary, shoplifting, theft of and from
      vehicles, and vandalism. All of these declined
      in the twenties, but theft from work increased
     Self reports showed that 96 per cent of the
      males had committed at least one crime that
      might have led to conviction, so criminal
      behaviour was not deviant.

Need to combine this with KEY STUDY -
     Farrington 2002. See booklet.
Predictors of crime at age 8—10:
   Antisocial child behaviour including
    troublesomeness, dishonesty and aggression.
   Hyperactivity-impulsivity-attention deficit.
   Low intelligence and poor school attainment.
   Family criminality.
   Family poverty, including low family income,
    large family size and poor housing.
   Poor parental child-rearing techniques, poor
    supervision, parental conflict and separation
    from parents.
    The most evident indicator of crime is
     being male, on a ratio of 9:1 (which has
     remained constant for many decades).
    Why? Give reasons.
Dennis and Erdos
             Dennis and Erdos have
              argued that young men,
              particularly in areas of
              high unemployment,
              are in a state of
              permanent boyhood
              and never grow up
              ('Wot U Lookin' At',
Box (1987)
   Box (1987) explains female crime in
    terms of poverty and unemployment.
   Women’s usual response to lack of
    opportunity and school failure, he
    argues, is to blame themselves rather
    than society so they are less likely to
    turn to crime.
        Violence by women is
   When Auburn University sociologist
    Penelope Hanke, Ph.D., reviewed
    records from an Alabama prison from
    1929 to 1985,
   She discovered that 95% of the cases
    where women murdered strangers
    occurred after 1970, along with 60% of
    slayings of friends and relatives.
Domestic Violence
   Murray Straus, (1975;1985)
   Total of 8,145 married and cohabiting
   12.4% of women have assaulted their
    spouses, compared to 12.2% of men.
   When it comes to severe assaults, the
    numbers were 4.6% for women and 5%
    for men.
Domestic Violence
   Irene Frieze, Ph.D.
   college students.
   58% of women had assaulted their dates,
    compared to 55% of men.
   The men don't take the violence seriously
Domestic Violence
   Straus admits that when it comes to the most
    brutal domestic assaults, the domain is still
    men's--they commit six times the number
    women do.
Violence on the Street

   The statistics show that arrests of women for
    violent crimes increased 90% between 1985
    and 1994, compared to 43% for men.
   Only in the case of murder did men widen
    their lead: a 13% rise for men compared to a
    4% drop for women.
Sentencing bias

   A Florida-based study showed that
    men were 23% more likely to be
    imprisoned than women who committed
    the same crime.
Social Learning Theory

   Albert Bandura conducted a series of
    experiments in which children watched
    adult models hitting inflatable Bobo dolls
   The children were then offered the
    opportunity to imitate the behaviour.
Social Learning Theory

   Under normal circumstances, the boys
    knocked down the dolls far more often
    than the girls did.
   When the models got rewarded for
    knocking down the Bobos, the boys and
    girls became almost equally aggressive.
   Sutherland 1939
   Boys are more likely to become delinquent
    than girls because they are less strictly
    controlled and are taught to be aggressive
    and active risk seekers
   Evaluation - Now girls are being encouraged
    by the media, etc to be violent - could explain
    rise in female crime.
   In a 1980 study (quoted in Moir and
    Jessel, 1995) of 50 violent female
    London prisoners, 44% of their crimes
    had been committed during
    paramenstruum (four days before
    menstruation). This is often called
    'premenstrual tension' (PMT)
   Only 3% to 4% of women are affected
Ethnicity and crime
   UK Home Office figures show that more
    Afro Caribbean youths are arrested as a
    percentage of the Afro-Caribbean
    population compared to white youths.
    For example, in London in 1984 52%
    of the arrests for street robbery were of
    Afro-Caribbeans, while non-whites only
    make up 14% of the London
Ethnicity and crime
   Feldman (1993) points out that if there
    is a generalizable difference, then it is
    that Afro-Caribbeans commit more
    single 'casual' (opportunist) offences
    while whites are 'high-rate offenders'.
   However 'white collar' crimes are 'white
    crimes' because non-whites are not
    usually in the position to commit them.
 Percentage in Prison

In Prison                  In Population

       Green represents ethnic minorities
Percentage in Prison
   Ethnic minorities represent 10.3% of
    the English prison population, compared
    with 6.93% of the population aged 16—
    24 years, and 5.5% of the total
    population (Home Office, 1991).
   Police stop-and-search powers have
    been shown to be used
    disproportionately against young black
    males (NACRO, 1997)
   However Wilbanks (1987) believes the
    differential in imprisonment rates is
    actually the result of higher crime rates
    among black people
   Crawford (2000) explored the effects of race
    on over 1,100 habitual female offenders in
   African-American women were given harsher
    sentences than their white counterparts.
   Similarly, when crime seriousness, crime type
    and prior record are controlled for, black
    males receive harsher sentences than white
    males do (Crawford et al., 1998).
   Almost all of this research is again
    concentrated on males. Rice (1990)
    calls this 'macho centric' (male centred),
    and it ignores the experiences of black
   In general,much of this research is
    ANDROCENTIC – having a focus on
    men to the exclusion of women.
Evaluation key points:
   For top marks you need statistics of
    frequency of occurrence of crimes
   For evaluation consider, weaknesses of
    biological explanations for age and
    gender and ethnicity.
   Again most research is correlational or
    longitudinal. No Cause & Effect.
Examination Question

   (a) Outline one study of individual or
    cultural differences in criminal
    behaviour. (6)
   (b) Evaluate the approaches to
    explaining the differences in criminal
    behaviour. (10)           Jan. 2004

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