Gender and crime

This course is not offered for study in the current academic year.

Course description

Men have been historically the focus of study or the ‘default’ for criminological inquiry. It has only been in the last several decades that women have gained the attention of criminological scholars. This course will examine gender through the experiences and treatment of women in the media, the law, and the criminal justice system.

We will explore the construction and treatment of gendered bodies as well as gendered forms of work, institutions and social processes. We will also analyze the gendered dimensions of central criminological processes, such as criminalization, victimization, policing and the criminal justice system.

Course learning outcomes

On completing the course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the key concepts and issues in the relationship between gender and crime.
  • Describe, explain and differentiate the major criminological theories related to gender and crime.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of criminological theories in explaining gender.
  • Assess the differential treatment of men and women in the criminal justice system.



Required reading

Each week, there will typically be two required readings that students must read in preparation (e.g. two journal articles). The required readings for this course are principally drawn from a range of journal articles and book chapters listed below. PDFs of all required readings will be available online for students, students are not required to purchase any reading materials for this course.


Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity, politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241–1299.

Potter, H. (2013). Intersectional criminology: Interrogating identity and power in criminological research and theory. Critical Criminology, 21(3), 305-318.

Daly, K. (1997). Different ways of conceptualizing sex/gender in feminist theory and their implications for criminology. Theoretical Criminology, 1(1), 25-51.

Lee, M. (2014). Gendered discipline and protective custody of trafficking victims in Asia. Punishment & Society, 16(2), 206-222.

Creek, S. J., & Dunn, J. L. (2011). Rethinking gender and violence: Agency, heterogeneity, and intersectionality. Sociology Compass, 5(5), 311-322.

Sokoloff, N.J. & Dupont, I. (2005). Domestic violence at the intersections of race, class, and gender: Challenges and contributions to understanding violence against marginalized women in diverse communities. Violence Against Women, 11(1), 38-64.

Hoang, K. K. (2014). Flirting with capital: Negotiating perceptions of pan-Asian ascendency and Western decline in global sex work. Social Problems, 61(4), 507-529.

Kong, T. S. K. (2006). What it feels like for a whore: The body politics of women performing erotic labour in Hong Kong. Gender, Work & Organization, 13(5), 409-434.

Gray, P. (2006). Women’s experiences of incarceration in Hong Kong: Doing time, doing choice, doing class-gender-culture. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 34, 89-104.

Pollack, S. (2007). “I’m just not good in relationships”: Victimization discourses and the gendered regulation of criminalized women. Feminist Criminology, 2(2), 158-174.

Pickering, S., & Ham, J. (2014). Hot pants at the border: Sorting sex work from trafficking. British Journal of Criminology, 54(1), 2-19.

Gengler, A.M. (2011). Mothering under others’ gaze: Policing motherhood in a battered women’s shelter. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 37(1), 131-152.

Lee-Koo, K. (2011). Gender-based violence against civilian women in postinvasion Iraq: (Re)politicizing George W. Bush’s silent legacy. Violence Against Women, 17(12), 1619-1634.

Carrington, K., McIntosh, A. & Scott, J. (2010). Globalization, frontier masculinities and violence. British Journal of Criminology, 50, 393-413.

Connell, R.W. & Messerschmidt, J.W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept. Gender & Society, 19(6), 829-859.

Huey, L. & Berndt, E. (2008). ‘You’ve gotta learn how to play the game’: Homeless women’s use of gender performance as a tool for preventing victimization. The Sociological Review, 56(2), 177-194.

Course co-ordinator and teachers

Student view

This course made me realise just how significant gendered assumptions are in our society, and how they infiltrate into many dimensions of life, and especially the criminal justice system.
– Gina Vuqitrna, 3rd year exchange student