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Title:Women, sexuality, and social control: A study in deviance
Author(s):McCammon, Lucy Wetzel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Britt, Chester L., III
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Abstract:The perception of lesbian women as more criminal than heterosexual women can be seen in many facets of our culture over time. This study examines that perception as it appears in the media, government, politics, religion, entertainment, education and more. The assumption is also reviewed as it appears in sociological literature. Original data are used to examine this assumption. The data are also used in an analysis of two major sociological theories of crime; Social Bond theory (Hirschi 1969) and Self-Control Theory (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990). Examination of these theories as they apply to women is the second main component to the study. All-female data provides a new perspective from which to evaluate the major traditions of deviance theory.
The method of this study is an anonymous mail survey. This study utilizes a non-probability sample, with an over sample of lesbian and bisexual women. Response was solicited through snowball sampling and distribution to organizations. Due to the use of non-probability sampling, the sample is not necessarily representative of the population. However, this sampling method is the best alternative. Since a large number of lesbian and bisexual respondents was needed for statistical comparison, the advantage of random sampling had to be forfeited.
To date, there has been no such study, despite the important role it can play in understanding women's lives and illuminating some of the possible misconceptions that have been surrounding women for hundreds of years. The study of crime is not just the study of illegal behavior, but an angle through which to understand social control, discrimination, aggressive responses to oppression, as well as the victimization of women. Discovering the true correlates of crime for women helps to reveal differences and similarities between men and women as criminals, and illuminates ways in which assumptions are made, and prejudices are used against women.
Results suggest self-control, the "belief" component of the social bond, and peer crime are important factors in female crime and deviance. Sexuality contributes significantly to variance in analogous behaviors, but not in crime behaviors. The models explained significant amounts of variance.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 McCammon, Lucy Wetzel
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712373
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712373

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