Neal Shover, Andy Hochstetler, and Tage Alalehto
In Western countries such as the United States, crime is viewed as chosen behavior. This assumption emerged as the dominant theoretical underpinning of crime control policy-making in the decades encompassing the dawn of the twenty-first century. Routine activity theory is a good example of how contemporary criminological scholars have been drawn to choice models of criminal behavior. The notion of crime as choice also underlies many, if not most, contemporary interpretations of white-collar crime. For instance, theoretical explanations in which the causal importance of variation in criminal opportunities is stressed are based on choice models. Crime-as-choice theory overlaps but is not coextensive with rational choice theory; it differs mainly from the latter by not incorporating an assumption a priori that criminal choices are rational. This article applies the concepts and logic of crime-as-choice theory to explain variation in white-collar crime.
Stacy De Coster, Karen Heimer, and Samantha R. Cumley
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.
Jean Marie McGloin and Stephanie DiPietro
One of the controversial issues in criminology is the notion that females are less likely than males to commit a crime. Although scholars have hotly debated the changing magnitude of the gender gap in recent years, they have not devoted so much attention to whether females exhibit disproportionately lower rates of crime—particularly violent crime—than males. Given the persistence of the gender gap in offending, it is not surprising then that research on criminal behavior has relegated females to an ancillary role. This article explores the relationship between gender and offending as it pertains to the peer group, specifically friends. It argues that deviant peer influence is a strong and important predictor of both male and female offending. It examines this risk for female offenders and explains why certain peers—namely those of the opposite sex—may exert a particularly powerful influence over females.