This collection of original essays is an innovative, effective way to teach crime theory to undergraduates. Each essay brings an important crime theory to life by applying that theory to a current crime event or topic of interest to students. An original introductory essay by Don Gibbons explains the origins of these different explanations for criminal behavior, and how they are similar to and different from one another.

Differential Association Theory and Female Crime

Differential Association Theory and Female Crime

Differential association theory and female crime

Most of the classic theories about why young people turn to criminal activity were formulated with boys in mind. Early theorists essentially believed that “delinquency in general is mostly male delinquency” (Cohen 1955:44). Although the delinquency rate of males exceeds that of females (see, e.g., Steffensmeier 1993), each generation of youth contains a small number of females whose behavior is sufficiently visible and/or serious to warrant official intervention. A key question is whether theories developed to explain male delinquency can be useful in explaining the behavior of this significantly smaller subset of delinquent females.

In this chapter, we focus on an influential social learning perspective, Sutherland's differential association theory (Sutherland and Cressey 1970), ...

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