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In most societies of the past and present women have been seen as inferior and more passive than their male counterparts Since women are perceived as being inferior and passive it is especially shocking to society when it is learned that a female has committed a violent and brutal crime Of course if a teenager murders a fellow classmate it should be shocking to most people but if a teenaged girl that took the life of another human being why is it that much more sensational Some people would argue that it is especially shocking because women are biologically predisposed to be emotional passive dependant and nurturing while men are presumed to be aggressive dominant and independent Boritch 1997 Others would argue that women are perceived to have the above qualities only because the society that they live in is a sexist society and educates its women to follow that gender role These people believe that a womans social environment and the way that they are dealt with by society cause women to commit a majority of certain offenses of the criminal justice system and that the biology of a woman makes little difference in their actions This paper will take a look at both sides of this argument and will give light to how womens theories have evolved from a strong biological point of view to theories that are more concerned with the females environment and how this affects the female socially and psychologically One of the earliest theorists of female criminality was Cesare Lombroso whose theory was based on a strict biological point of view Like many other early theorists of crime Lombroso was greatly influenced by the work of Charles Darwin Artz 1998 One of Lombrosos contributions to the world of criminology was the concept of atavism Lombroso was determined that criminals could be physically identified from non-criminals and created the word atavism which is defined as certain physical anomalies
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