Women Who Kill Essay

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Traditional ideas about women who kill are that they are less violent than men, they commit murder out of reaction and not their own initiations. Homicides by women typically take place in the residence of the offender; usually these residences are shared with the victim. Relative to those of women, a higher percentage of homicides by men occurs in bars and taverns. Women most often kill husbands, exhusbands, and lovers, followed by children and other relatives in frequency (Wolfgang, 1958; Ward et al., 1969; Wilbanks, 1982; Zimring, Mukherjee, & VanWinkle, 1983 as cited by Jurik, Winn).
Criminology has treated women's role in crime with a large measure of indifference. The intellectual tradition from which criminology derives its
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Their theories were based on 'atavism'. Atavism refers to the belief that all individuals displaying anti-social behavior were biological throwbacks (Smart, 1978: 32 as cited by Kelta). The born female criminal was perceived to have the criminal qualities of the male plus the worst characteristics of women. According to Lombroso and Ferrero (1895), these included deceitfulness, cunning and spite among others and were not apparent among males. This indicated that criminal women were genetically more male than female, so that made them considered abnormal. Criminality in men was a common feature of their natural characteristics, whereby women, their biologically-determined nature was opposing to crime. Female social deviants or criminals who did not act according to pre-defined standards were diagnosed as pathological and requiring treatment, they were to be 'cured' or 'removed' (Lombroso and Ferrero, 1895: 43 as cited by Kelta).
There is a difference between homicide and murder. Homicide is when one person kills another person. Murder is when the person intentionally kills someone, like premeditated murder. Homicides are criminal, forgivable, or reasonable. A criminal homicide is unreasonable, and the consequences are harsh. A forgivable or reasonable homicide is one without criminal intent to kill someone. Examples of excusable or justifiable homicide would…