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People of different origins, gender, locations and social classes break the law. Nevertheless, facts demonstrate that some people appear to be more inclined towards committing a crime than the others. The current paper will explain why crimes appear to be disproportionally committed by men by applying the well-known criminological theory of self-control. The paper will demonstrate the major statistical data to support the claim, outline the selected theory and its connection to male crime rates, and support the application of the theory by scientific researches and studies.
Males and Crime Rates
The suggestion that “crimes are committed disproportionally by males” appears to be one of the few inarguable and apparent “facts” in criminology. Statistics demonstrate that gender discrepancies can be regarded as unchangeable over time and space, due to the fact that males appear to be constantly and passim more probable to commit criminal acts as compared to females. In accordance with the UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting), males stand for approximately 81 percent in the general statistics of arrests for violent crimes and account for about 63 percent in relation to property crimes (Barkan, 2013). In addition, according to the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), victims append that men committed the majority of violent crimes that they experienced, while self-report analysis demonstrates that men considerably surpass women in the commitment of solid street offenses (Barkan, 2013). Thus, the facts demonstrate that in regards to breaking the law, crime appears to be a male’s world.
Further, statistics shows that men are responsible for the majority of homicides in the U.S., accounting for 90.5 percent of the overall offenders number (Chan & Chui, 2015). Secondly, the proportion of biological fathers killing their children under the age of five appears to be higher as compared to biological mothers. In addition, in cases when someone other than their parent killed children of the same age, males stand for 80 percent of murderers (Chan & Chui, 2015). Thirdly, males are responsible for 63.7 percent of domestic homicides against females, while 81 percent stands for sex-connected homicides. Fourthly, males stand for 98 percent of forcible rape crimes. Finally, men account for 89 percent of robbery cases (Chan & Chui, 2015). Thus, facts vividly demonstrate that males are more likely to commit serious property, drug, and violent crimes. In addition, researches demonstrate that males are generally more involved in crime than females and appear to have longer-lasting criminal careers, as males reveal a tendency to belong to gangs, which appears to be three times higher as compared to females. Therefore, it becomes obvious that males commit more delinquent acts than females do, while these acts are also considered as more serious and violent.
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It is important to understand the reasons of such huge gender difference. Some scholars explain this discrepancy by biological differences between genders. Nevertheless, the majority of criminologists attribute it to sociological factors. Thus, considering the higher level of gender roles acknowledgment and recognition, people concede in raising boys to be aggressive and assertive, while girls are expected to be nurturing and gentle (Lindsey, 2011). The demonstrated gender socialization appears to have numerous effects, and a large gender difference in criminal conduct is one of them. The second factor stands for opportunity. Researches demonstrate that parents reveal a tendency to control their daughters more severely as compared to their sons, who appear to have more opportunities for breaking the law.
The self-control theory stands for the criminological theory developed by Gottfredson and Hirschi. This theory speculates that the shortage of self-control results in delinquency (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Self-control stands for the capability to constrain oneself from operating in an impulsive manner. It requires composure, time, and thought. This theory suggests that individuals encountering shortage of self-control utilize criminal acts in an attempt of equipping an immediate remuneration and satisfaction of ambitions and aspirations (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). On contrary, people with adequate self-control do not require such immediate satisfaction. Furthermore, the theory reveals that self-control appears to be imparted by parental directives, recognition, and discipline. In cases when parents lack the cognizance or concern in educating their children, their children develop without understanding the significance of self-control. Parents are responsible for teaching children lessons and valuables regarding their intentions or their absence (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Statistics shows that children have a tendency of following their parents’ models of behavior, lifestyle, and values. In addition, children can also learn to obtain self-control from such social institutions as schools.
Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) define crimes as “acts of force or fraud undertaken in pursuit of self-interest” (p. 15). A shortage of self-control elevates the likelihood of irregular, criminal, or hazardous acts (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). The major factors, which can potentially result in a high possibility of criminal activity, incorporate the greed for excitement, status, material goods, and sexual satisfaction (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Nevertheless, a decreased level of self-control does not inevitably presuppose that a person will commit a crime. On the other hand, it is apparent that a person committing a crime usually encounters difficulties with self-control. Facts demonstrate that people with decreased self-control appear to have more difficulties with realizing the long-term outcomes of their conduct. Such people observe the satisfaction appearing from a criminal activity in a form of direct, immediate, and apparent consequence, while the suffering and discomfort that will result from committing the act are not as direct or apparent.
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Gottfredson and Hirschi define several constituents of self-control. Firstly, criminal acts equip the instant satisfaction of desires and aspirations. Individuals with decreased self-control reveal a trend of responding to their instant setting and conditions, concentrating on “here and now” (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990, p. 19). On contrary, self-control provides the capability of delaying satisfaction. Secondly, criminal acts equip an unchallenging satisfaction of aspirations, meaning that people can immediately get revenge, money, or sex. People with high self-control have an adequate level of persistence and diligence to achieve their objectives lawfully. Thirdly, criminal acts appear to be thrilling and dangerous, as they incorporate danger, speed, adroitness, and deceit. People who lack self-control demonstrate a tendency of being physically strong, adventuresome, and neglecting cautiousness (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Fourthly, crime acts equip a limited number of long-term advantages, as they oppose such long-term commitments as family, employment, and marriage. Therefore, people with low self-control are uninterested and unprepared for continuous pursuits. Fifthly, due to the fact that the majority of crimes require little planning or skills, individuals with low self-control do not require academic or manual capabilities. Finally, crime acts frequently lead to anguish or discomfort in relation to the victim. Individuals with low self-control typically appear to be selfish or unconcerned with the needs of other people (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). This way, the self-control theory vividly demonstrates that decreased levels of self-control correspond to an impulsive criminal conduct.
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Self-Control Theory and Male Crimes
Self-control theory appears to provide a rational explanation of gender discrepancies in delinquency and crime ratios. In fact, males and females are not only supervised and controlled in a different manner, but they are also educated to behave differently. Thus, women demonstrate a tendency of being more careful, less temperamental and impulsive, and they usually encounter less risks and dangers as compared to men. Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) highlight that gender discrepancies in crime activities appear to be the outcome of self-control disparities. Women are regarded as less delinquent due to the fact that they have a higher level of self control and restricted possibilities of committing a crime. In fact, cases of deviant behavior exhibited by men may be ignored or even remunerated. On the other hand, analogous violations committed by women are more likely to lead to punishment or sanctions, which appear to have a negative long-term societal outcome. For instance, risky conduct might typically result in a decreased level of family support and poor academic performance (Chan & Chui, 2015). Female misconduct is often considered as being more socially unacceptable as compared to male misbehavior. This is the main reason why girls are monitored more strictly and carefully by their parents. In fact, the strict control frequently extends beyond the childhood period. Parents typically appear to be more concerned with the efficient socialization of girls and women as they are more reliant on social approval. Therefore, strict supervision, control, and punishments help them in developing a higher level of self-control, resulting in decreased delinquency rates among females (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Therefore, parents who control their sons and daughters in a different manner might actually socialize them differently. In fact, differential parental attachment and rejection can be essentially connected to gender discrepancies in levels of self-control (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). This practically means that men with decreased attachment and an elevated level of rejection (in respect to family and relatives) might demonstrate essentially lower levels of self-control, leading to misconducts and crime commitment.
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In fact, numerous researches support the connection of self-control theory and high criminal rates among males. The studies vividly demonstrate that males reveal a tendency to score higher in terms of impulsiveness, present focus, and danger seeking conduct as compared to women (Chan & Chui, 2015; Boisvert, Vaske, Taylor & Wright, 2012; Chapple, Vaske & Hope, 2010). Study also shows that males are more likely to engage in such behaviors as consuming huge quantities of alcohol, having large debts, smoking cigarettes, driving without a seat belt, and having unstable and short-term relationships (Richards, Miller, O’Donnell, Wasserman & Colder, 2004). All of these characteristics are typical and indicative of low self-control. Therefore, men appear to be more likely to adopt attitudes that repulse lower levels of self-control and be more plausible in engaging in behaviors characterized by low levels of self-control (Chan & Chui, 2015). In addition, Lindsey (2011) conducted a research on Latino youth which demonstrates that low self-control elevates property offending among males. In addition, the research by DeLisi, Beaver, Wright and Vaughn (2008) on institutionalized youth revealed that self-control appears to be protective against instructional misconduct for males but not for females. Chapple and Johnson (2007) also demonstrated that the major reason for men committing a higher quantity of crimes (encompassing violent crimes) stands for the lower level of self-control. They also concluded that decreased levels of self-control are connected to the lower degree of parental control, family connections and attachment, and punishment for misconduct. Males’ low-level of self-control is actually stimulated by the fact they are permitted to take more risks. In fact, men appear to have a decreased capability of deferring gratification and curb impulses, which attributes to committing violent acts in attempts of getting everything a person desires (Chapple & Johnson, 2007). Chan and Chui (2015) research on Chinese male adolescents vividly demonstrates that decreased levels of self-control appear to have a direct impact on crime rates, as adolescents with low self-control appear to be more likely to engage in delinquency, especially violence, particularly when they become older, and appear to be less educated. In fact, age attributed for the mere demographic precursor of nonviolent delinquency. Low self-control stimulated danger-seeking conducts, self-orientation, and egoism, which appeared to have an essential impact on both violent and nonviolent delinquencies. In addition, decreased frustration tolerance has been connected to an increased rate of violent misbehavior (Chan & Chui, 2015). The findings above accentuate the general crucial affect of self-control on adolescent delinquency in regards to Chinese adolescents.
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In addition, numerous studies reveal that males are typically controlled and supervised less than women, have less attachment to their parents, and experience strident and abrupt discipline less frequently (Chapple et al., 2010). Furthermore, empirical evidence also demonstrates that parental supervision might actually conciliate the connection between gender and misconduct, which appears to be intrinsic of the decreased self-control level (Richards et al., 2004). A data analysis of middle and high school youths illustrates that parental control conciliated the connection between gender (typically male) and adolescent drinking (Lindsey, 2011). Furthermore, the study conducted by Boisvert, Vaske, Taylor and Wright (2012) demonstrates that distinguishing parental attachment appeared to have a solid indirect affect on delinquency through gender discrepancies in self-control. In addition, sex disparities in self-control mediated the impacts of distinguished parental abruption on distinctions in crime commitment. In fact, the research demonstrated that sons who experienced less parental attachment and higher level of parent rejection as compared to their sisters appeared to be more likely to encounter shortage of self-control and were consequently more likely to engage in criminal activities as compared to females (Boisvert et al., 2012).
Therefore, the evidence suggesting that males appear to have lower levels of self-control appears to be sufficient. This is explained by the fact that they obtain less supervision and control from parents, demonstrate poor attachments to parents and are penalized less for asocial conduct through being stimulated to take risks in order to reveal their masculinity. Thus, the studies outlined above prove that differential parenting actually contributes to gender discrepancies in self-control, which later results in gender differences in crime commitment.
People of different backgrounds and lifestyles engage in breaking the law. Nonetheless, some people reveal a tendency to be more inclined towards committing crimes than others are. The current paper vividly demonstrates that the claim “crime is committed disproportionally by males” fully complies with reality. The statistical analysis demonstrates that the number of male-committed crimes appears to be sufficiently higher as compared to female-committed crimes. The paper utilizes the self-control theory for explaining the gender gap in the crime statistics. A conclusion may be drawn that males appear to have a lower level of self-control as compared to females. This is attributed to the fact that daughters usually have more intimate relationships with their parents, are more strictly controlled, and are more severely punished in case of misbehavior. Many studies support this conclusion and demonstrate the apparent connection between the levels of self-control and crime commitment rates among the two genders. In addition, numerous researches also highlight the theory-supported fact that differential parenting ultimately contributes to solid gender discrepancies in regards to the self-control level, which later results in a gender gap in crime commitment.
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