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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Second-wave feminism, the exponential growth and transformation of mass media, and academic interest in culture as mediator have each contributed to an intensification of research on media representations of gender, sex, and crime. This essay reviews research on the relationships between news media and perceptions of rape, domestic violence, and female offenders and victims. It then discusses the media as a gendered institution and the consequences of this for the public’s perceptions of and attitudes toward crime and criminals. Cultural criminology has made important contributions to our understanding of fictional, visual portrayals of gender, sex, and crime, and several of these contributions are highlighted. An important theme in the essay is that the ways in which gender, sex, media, and crime intersect have “real life” ramifications, affecting policies as well as perceptions. For this reason, further research is needed on the media’s potential to challenge traditional stereotypes about the relationships between crime and gender (as well as ethnicity, race, and class) as a way to encourage more progressive responses to gendered violence and crime.

Keywords: media and crime, gendered representations, cultural criminology, crime news, fictional portrayals of gender and crime

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