• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What characterizes women's and girls' pathways to crime?

Girls, Women, and Crime: Selected Readings, Second Edition is a compilation of journal articles on the female offender written by leading researchers in the fields of criminology and women's studies. The contributors reveal the complex worlds females in the criminal justice system must often negotiate—worlds that are frequently riddled with violence, victimization, discrimination, and economic marginalization. This in-depth collection leaves readers with a greater understanding of the complexities and nuances of the realtionship between girls and women and crime.

Chapter 9: Murder as Self-Help: Women and Intimate Partner Homicide

Murder as Self-Help: Women and Intimate Partner Homicide
Murder as self-help: Women and intimate partner homicide
Elicka S. L.Peterson

Compared to men, women commit a very small number of homicides. As such, little scholarly attention has been afforded to homicide committed by women, particularly in terms of theory. We do know that the vast majority of female-perpetrated homicides occur in the home (Goetting, 1987; Mann, 1990,1996), most are against intimates (Browne & Williams, 1993; Edwards, 1984; Goetting, 1988; Mann, 1990, 1996), and often involve no advance planning (Goetting, 1987). Frequently, these killings occur in reaction to long-term abuse (Browne, 1987; Goetting, 1987).

Understanding the conditions that explain why women commit far fewer homicides could provide insight into why men commit far more. Assumptions about vast biological differences between ...

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