Research Publication Title

The Uneven Scales Of Lady Justice

Major

Mass Communications/Criminal Justice

Faculty Mentor(s)

Ji Seun Sohn, Ph.D.

Keywords

evil woman, chivalry hypothesis, gender role

Abstract

For centuries, women have been assigned a specific gender role, and men hold them accountable to stay within this role. When these roles are broken, severe punishment or dismissal can be the result. From the Demonic age to today, as well as the different schools of criminology, the way women have been treated has been documented. The evil woman theory introduces the idea that when women commit a crime, they are no longer acting in the stereotypical way of a woman; therefore, punishment should be more severe. On the other side, some men treat women with chivalry, seeing them as childlike, and unable to make clear decisions. There are also feelings of father-like instincts. When this occurs, men of the criminal justice system feel the that a woman is helpless and should be saved, and do not charge them severely. In the history of women, there are many instances in which women were treated in ways that we could not fathom today. In the evil woman hypothesis, true women are thought to be more morally correct than men. When the virtuous woman falls from her pedestal, she falls further than any man. It is seen as unladylike when she steps out of the traditional gender role and commits a crime. She is now seen as violent and aggressive since she violated her womanhood. Historically and even today, men picture themselves as the protector, provider, and savior of women. When a woman commits a crime, or is suspected of it, the chivalrous attitudes of males become more apparent. In the chivalry hypothesis, females are treated more leniently in the criminal justice system because men oversee the judicial system, and they feel the need to protect women.

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The Uneven Scales Of Lady Justice

For centuries, women have been assigned a specific gender role, and men hold them accountable to stay within this role. When these roles are broken, severe punishment or dismissal can be the result. From the Demonic age to today, as well as the different schools of criminology, the way women have been treated has been documented. The evil woman theory introduces the idea that when women commit a crime, they are no longer acting in the stereotypical way of a woman; therefore, punishment should be more severe. On the other side, some men treat women with chivalry, seeing them as childlike, and unable to make clear decisions. There are also feelings of father-like instincts. When this occurs, men of the criminal justice system feel the that a woman is helpless and should be saved, and do not charge them severely. In the history of women, there are many instances in which women were treated in ways that we could not fathom today. In the evil woman hypothesis, true women are thought to be more morally correct than men. When the virtuous woman falls from her pedestal, she falls further than any man. It is seen as unladylike when she steps out of the traditional gender role and commits a crime. She is now seen as violent and aggressive since she violated her womanhood. Historically and even today, men picture themselves as the protector, provider, and savior of women. When a woman commits a crime, or is suspected of it, the chivalrous attitudes of males become more apparent. In the chivalry hypothesis, females are treated more leniently in the criminal justice system because men oversee the judicial system, and they feel the need to protect women.