top of page

Discuss Heidensohn's findings on female conformity in patriarchal societies.


Crime and Deviance

 A Level/AS Level/O Level

Free Essay Outline

Heidensohn's Findings on Female Conformity in Patriarchal Societies
This essay will discuss Heidensohn's findings on female conformity in patriarchal societies. It will examine the key concepts of Heidensohn's theory, including the role of patriarchal control, the impact of gender socialization, and the consequences of female conformity for women's lives. It will also consider the criticisms of Heidensohn's work and the broader implications of her findings for understanding crime and deviance.

Heidensohn's Key Arguments
This section will outline Heidensohn's main arguments, including:

⭐Patriarchal control: How patriarchal structures and institutions constrain women's opportunities and behaviours.
⭐Gender socialization: How women are socialized into accepting their subordinate roles in society.
⭐The consequences of conformity: The ways in which female conformity can lead to both positive and negative outcomes for women.

Evidence and Examples
This section will provide evidence and examples to support Heidensohn's arguments, including:

⭐Statistical data on female crime rates: This will show how female crime rates are significantly lower than male crime rates.
⭐Case studies of women who have committed crimes: This will illustrate the challenges and constraints that female offenders often face.
⭐Examples of patriarchal control in women's lives: This will demonstrate the ways in which women are subject to control in both the public and private spheres.

Criticisms of Heidensohn's Work
This section will discuss some of the criticisms of Heidensohn's work, including:

⭐Overemphasis on patriarchal control: Some argue that Heidensohn neglects other factors that influence female conformity.
⭐Limited focus on diverse female experiences: Heidensohn's work may not fully account for the experiences of women from different social backgrounds.
⭐Underestimation of female agency: Some argue that Heidensohn underestimates the ability of women to resist patriarchal control.

Implications for Understanding Crime and Deviance
This section will discuss the broader implications of Heidensohn's findings for understanding crime and deviance, including:

⭐The need for a feminist perspective on crime and deviance: Heidensohn's work highlights the importance of considering gender in the study of crime.
⭐The role of social structures in shaping behaviour: Heidensohn's work emphasizes the importance of social structures in shaping both conforming and deviant behaviour.
⭐The need for social change to address gender inequality: Heidensohn's work suggests that addressing gender inequality is essential for reducing both crime and deviance.

This section will summarize the main points of the essay and offer a concluding statement about the significance of Heidensohn's work for understanding female conformity in patriarchal societies.

Free Essay 

The Iron Cage of Conformity: Heidensohn's Analysis of Female Conformity in Patriarchal Societies

Feminist criminologist Frances Heidensohn argues that, while crime is often seen as a primarily male phenomenon, women's conformity to patriarchal norms plays a significant role in shaping their experiences with the criminal justice system. This essay will explore Heidensohn's key findings on female conformity, analyzing how patriarchal structures create pressure on women to conform, leading to lower crime rates and unique patterns of criminal behavior.

⭐⭐The Patriarchal Framework:⭐⭐ Heidensohn argues that patriarchal societies impose a framework of control on women, restricting their agency and opportunities. This framework operates through various mechanisms:

⭐Domestic Control:⭐⭐ The traditional division of labor confines women to the home, limiting their interaction with the wider society and opportunities for criminal activity. Domestic responsibilities, childcare, and household management consume their time and energy.
⭐Economic Control:⭐⭐ Women's economic dependence on men, through lower wages, limited employment opportunities, and a lack of access to resources, further restricts their ability to engage in criminal activities that require financial independence.
⭐Social Control:⭐⭐ Social norms and expectations perpetuate the idea that women are inherently more submissive, passive, and law-abiding than men. This societal pressure to conform to these gender roles strengthens the control over women's behavior.

⭐⭐The Impact of Conformity:⭐⭐ Heidensohn emphasizes that women's conformity to these patriarchal structures has a significant impact on their criminal behavior:

⭐Lower Crime Rates:⭐⭐ Women are demonstrably less likely to commit crimes than men. This is not solely due to biological differences, but rather a consequence of the restrictive social and economic conditions that limit opportunities for criminal activity.
⭐Different Types of Crime:⭐⭐ Women are more likely to engage in less serious offenses like shoplifting, fraud, and petty theft, often driven by economic necessity or the need to support their families. Their criminal activities tend to be less violent and more focused on immediate needs.
⭐Different Experiences with the Justice System:⭐⭐ Women are less likely to be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned compared to men. While this might appear beneficial, it also reflects a tendency to overlook or excuse their criminal behavior, further reinforcing the idea of female inferiority and passivity. However, women are often subjected to harsher punishments for the same offenses when they are prosecuted.

⭐⭐The Consequences of Conformity:⭐⭐ While women’s lower crime rates might seem like a positive outcome, Heidensohn argues that this conformity comes at a significant cost:

⭐Limited Agency and Freedom:⭐⭐ Conformity to patriarchal norms restricts their choices and reduces their ability to lead fulfilling lives. They are trapped within a system that prioritizes men's needs and desires, limiting their autonomy and personal growth.
⭐Increased Vulnerability:⭐⭐ The constant pressure to conform makes women more susceptible to forms of abuse and exploitation, both within the family and outside of it. They are often forced to accept unfair situations and tolerate harmful behaviors to maintain the appearance of "good" women.
⭐Perpetuation of the Status Quo:⭐⭐ By conforming to patriarchal norms, women inadvertently contribute to the perpetuation of a system that limits their opportunities and reinforces their subordination.

⭐⭐Conclusion:⭐⭐ Heidensohn's analysis highlights the complexities of female conformity in patriarchal societies. While women's lower crime rates might appear desirable, they are a consequence of restricted opportunities and social pressures that constrain their lives. This conformity reinforces the status quo and perpetuates the cycle of inequality. Understanding the factors that contribute to female conformity is essential for dismantling patriarchal structures and empowering women to achieve genuine equality and agency within society.

bottom of page