- Revisiting Lombroso
- Biology and Crime
- Parenting and Crime
- The Psychology of Criminal Conduct
- Risk Factors and Crime
- Social Learning and Crime
- Hirschi’s Criminology
- General Strain and Urban Youth Violence
- Social Support and Crime
- Life-Course-Persistent Offenders
- Change in Offending across the Life Course
- Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing
- Peer Networks and Crime
- Contemporary Gang Ethnographies
- Girls, Friends, and Delinquency
- Gender and Theories of Delinquency
- Neighborhood Ties, Control, and Crime
- Community, Inequality, and Crime
- Street Culture and Crime
- The Code of the Suburb and Drug Dealing
- Social Institutions and Crime
- The Market Economy and Crime
- Immigration and Crime
- Choosing Street Crime
- Choosing White-Collar Crime
- Emotions, Choice, and Crime
- Routine Activity Theory
- The Theory of Target Search
- Crime Places and Place Management
- Multilevel Criminal Opportunity
- Coercion and Crime
- Green Criminology
- Perceptual Deterrence Theory
- The Effects of Imprisonment
- Coercive Mobility
Abstract and Keywords
Females are less likely than males to violate the law, a statement that has become a criminological truism and might help explain why the major theoretical paradigms in criminology tend to focus more on male offending than on female delinquency. Although females are less likely to engage in illegal behavior, they do so nonetheless. This article looks at the major criminological paradigms—control, strain, and learning—and the extent to which they have addressed female delinquency as well as the gender gap in delinquency. While it is true that the most prominent theories in each paradigm pay little attention to gender, some have suggested that these theories can explain delinquency in both males and females. In other words, the theories are believed to be gender-neutral. Indeed, there is empirical evidence to support the argument that the major social-psychological processes and variables in these theories—social bonds, self-control, strain, and learning—influence male and female delinquency.
Stacy De Coster is Associate Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University.
Karen Heimer is Professor of Sociology and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa.
Samantha R. Cumley is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Iowa.
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