Correctional population in the United States is declining in the recent years (Glaze, 2010). Nevertheless, there are still many crimes being committed, and people serve their terms as punishments. Although women typically commit fewer crimes, the statistics shows that there are certain types of crimes which are more common among women offenders. First type of crime is embezzlement (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010). Another type of crime is prostitution and commercialized vice.
It is interesting to analyze the reasons why women to commit a lot of embezzlement crimes. They are more likely to commit such white collar frauds because of many factors. First of all, women usually feel more pressure than men in family and personal relations. For example, they often have to balance family life and working process. Thus, sometimes, they feel the urgent need to make a lot of money in order to support one’s family. For example, males can pressure women to make more money, and since they are not able to make it legally, the commit embezzlements. White collar crimes are usually treated less strictly. Since there is no physical violence, people tend to think of such crimes as “lesser crimes.” Women who commit such crimes usually have no previous experience in crimes; they had never stolen before nor did anything else illegal.
Thus, the main reason for embezzlement among women is supporting one’s family. Other reasons include personal needs (such as shopping). Some of the women commit embezzlements due to “higher loyalties” to their families since they want to provide families with better conditions. Since embezzlement is considered “lesser crime”, women feel less moral pressure while committing such crimes.
Prostitution crimes are also more common among women than among men. Ironically, it is determined by males. Males are usually more interested in women and sexual relations than women toward men. Sadly, there is a particular demand of this type of crime.
Ironically, many women become prostitutes to become financially independent, especially from men. Sometimes, women see prostitution as an only way to make money. Some desperate women become prostitutes due to urgent need of money for themselves and their families. There is another reason for prostitution crimes. Women who come from unstable and disadvantaged families usually become prostitutes more often since their childhood background does not provide them with better options. Thus, personal pressure is one of the main reasons for committing such a crime; this reason is quite similar to embezzlement.
It is important to note that both types of crimes do not involve any physical violence. It represents the approach women have toward crimes. Obviously, they commit crimes, but women are much less violent than men. It is one of the reasons women are usually treated more lightly than men. It determines better treatment of women and explains why they usually get lesser and shorter sentences.
Justice system treats women better because it usually finds many explanations and justifications for women committing crimes. For example, pressure which makes women commit crimes is often taken into consideration while analyzing women’s illegal actions. Women are often viewed as victims of male dominance. Thus, their crimes are often explained as something that was caused by outside factors and influence rather than by women themselves. Interestingly, the crimes that women commit are also viewed as crimes with lesser harm. Although women may commit frauds that have huge negative economic effects, such actions are still regarded not as bad as violent robbery. The same is with prostitution. Many people tend to think that prostitutes do not hurt anybody since people willingly pay them. Thus, it is the fault of people who actually pay.
Hence, it can be said that although women commit crimes, they are viewed differently from men. It may be the reason of “victimizing” women, or a consequence of less violence in crimes they commit most often.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2010). Ten-year arrest trends. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl33.xls
- Glaze, L. E. (2010). Correctional populations in the United States, 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus10.pdf