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In the Underworld:
Women in Crime
by Jackie Galvez,
Katie Meyer,
and Whitney Sholl
In the Underworld:
Women in Crime
»Chapter 7
»A Mind of Her Own: The
Evolutionary Psychology of
»by Anne Campbell
»Cesare Lombroso
»W.I. Thomas
»Otto Pollack
»Freda Adler
Cesare Lombroso
» “Such a woman is
a ‘monster’ who
‘belongs more to
the male than
female sex” (208).
» Female criminals
were pseudo-males
or inadequate
W.I. Thomas
» Humans driven by:
New Experience
» Delinquent women
lack these
Otto Pollack
»Women appear to commit less
»Less reported
»Less detected by police
»Women are devious and
manipulative because of
menstruation and their
nature of sexuality
Freda Adler
»Rise in female crime due to
women’s liberation
»Seeking greater criminal
opportunities just as they were
seeking more legitimate
»Highly controversial
»Led to a backlash, denouncing
Adler’s position
Three Reasons for
Contradictory Images
of Women Criminals
» 1) Academics are asking different
» 2) Most explanations given are
from feminist ideology and practice
» 3) New feminist epistemology says
agendas cannot be objective and
can only offer descriptions
Women, like men, must secure
resources they require for
survival (211)
Well Known Facts
»1) Men commit more crime
than women
»2) In places and times where
male crime rises, female crime
rises as well (213)
»3) Female property and violent
crime rise and fall together,
just as male crime does
How likely are women
to commit violent
»Criminal Analyst Jonathan
Alston talks about gender
differences and violent crime
Female Crimes
» Seen as a desperate competition for
access to scarce resources
» Women need resources as a result of
“extra calories required to sustain
ovulation and support pregnancy,
lactation and the additional need
required of a growing, dependent
child” (217)
» Can attach themselves to men or
get her own through independent
» Common factor is resource scarcity
Difference between
Male and Female
» Male:
» Achieving lavish
& ostentatious
» Female:
» Motivated by
responsibility to
family &
economic need
» Less conspicuous
» Conceal rather
than advertise
Drugs & Prostitution
» Partake in drug business & prostitution
» Physiological as well as financial need
» Selling drugs & prostitution support
female drug habit
Predictors of Crime
» Family processes
» Come from impoverished single-parent or
parentally-conflicted families
» Two part:
» 1) May be indirect through the parents’
reaction to deprivation
» 2) Children read into their local ecology &
witness parental arguments over money
Women in Crime
»Women do not need a separate
explanation of crime from men
»Need some mechanism that
explains why they are less likely
than men to commit crimes
»Perhaps, due to the differences
in fear and risk-taking
Three Interesting
» 1) Men commit more crime than
women and the size of this sex
difference varies with the
dangerousness of the crime
» 2) Social bonding is a crucial part
to understanding the criminal
» 3) There are two kinds of crime:
property crime and violent crime
Three Weak Arguments
» 1) Pollak’s view on crime was based
on the theory that women commit
more crime than we realize
» 2) Two of the three facts discussed
in the beginning were based on
empirical research, but the N values
were very low
» 3) Women are more motivated by
resources fueled by family or
personal obligations while men are
motivated towards crime more for
reputation purposes
Out of the theorists, who is quoted
as saying, “such a woman is a
‘monster’ who ‘belongs more to
the male than female sex?”
»A) Cesare Lombroso
»B) W.I Thomas
»C) Otto Pollack
»D) Freda Adler
»E) None of the above
Evolutionists theorize that male
control of sexuality has been present
throughout history stemming from
which of the following?
»A) Concealed ovulation
»B) Uncertainty of paternity
»C) Males’ monopoly of resources
»D) Rise of patriarchy
»E) All of the above
What is a difference between
male and female crime?
» A) Men use their crimes to achieve
lavish lifestyles
» B) Women are more conspicuous
» C) Women conceal rather than
» D) Women continue committing
crime for long periods of time
» E) All of the above
Everywhere in the world
men commit more
crime than women.
»A) True
»B) False
Female crime can be seen as a
desperate competition for access to
scarce resources.
»A) True
»B) False
Drug dealing and
prostitution help support
female drug habits.
»A) True
»B) False
»Campbell, A. (2002). In the
Underworld: Women in Crime.
A Mind of Her Own: The
Evolutionary Psychology of
Women. (pp. 208-232). New
York: Oxford University Press