ABSTRACT* * * The extent of preferential treatment toward female offenders during arrest has been a neglected topic in research on female criminality. This article uses data collected in 1977 during police‐suspect encounters with 785 males and females to explore the existence of chivalrous treatment of female offenders in the initial stages of criminal processing. These data indicate that chivalry exists at the stage of arrest for those women who display appropriate gender behaviors and characteristics. In general, the findings suggest that female suspects who deviate from stereotypic gender expectations lose the advantage that may be extended to female offenders. Specifically, older, white, female suspects are less likely to be arrested than their younger, black or hostile sisters. In addition, in the initial stage of criminal processing, female property offenders receive no leniency, and some evidence suggests that offenses against property weigh we heavily in arrest decisions for females than for males. Differences in the factors influencing police arrest decisions for male and female suspects are also examined.
Criminology – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1983
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