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Equal Opportunity Offending

Young Women’s Pathways Through Violence: Challenging the Myth of Equal Opportunity Offending

Susan Batchelor, from the University of Glasgow, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Crime and Society,” under the title “Young Women’s Pathways Through Violence: Challenging the Myth of Equal Opportunity Offending”. Here is the abstract: Young women depicted as drunk, disorderly and looking for fights are increasingly portrayed as a ‘new’ threat to the social order. These concerns can be explained by reference to recent rises in detected offending by young women, but also relate to wider anxieties about women’s shifting roles. Popular accounts present girls’ violence as a by-product of young women becoming more like young men and imply this ‘masculinisation’ is the result of women seeking equality with men. Through reference to research carried out with young women in prison in Scotland, this paper will challenge such depictions through an examination of young women’s socio-biographies and the material circumstances of their lives leading up to incarceration. The findings demonstrate that a range of adverse circumstances and gendered experiences precipitate young women’s pathways into crime and criminalisation, including: domestic violence; sexual abuse; family breakdown; institutional care; substance abuse; self harm; unemployment and poverty. These backgrounds severely limit young women’s choices and options and contribute to rigid, stereotypical views about women and women’s role.

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  • “Young Women’s Pathways Through Violence: Challenging the Myth of Equal Opportunity Offending”, by Susan Batchelor (Proceedings)


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  • Article Name: Equal Opportunity Offending
  • Author: Lilly Daniels
  • Description: Young Women’s Pathways Through Violence: Challenging the Myth of Equal Opportunity Offending Susan Batchelor, from the [...]

This entry was last updated: June 29, 2020

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