Why Most Women are Fearful of Crime

Fear of crime has gained momentum for the last 20 to 30 years now. At the conception stages of this issue, researchers were interested in finding out the source of the dark figure in crime, where such occurrences go unreported. It was theorized and found to have a great association with experiences of victimization. However, researchers done found the few of crime to be relative and it was determined by other factors, the main findings featured the discovery of the factors involved in the fear of crime.

Therefore, the research majored on defining fear in a crime situation. It established fear as the anticipation of victimization that was reflected by the vulnerability of a person in a crime situation. The fear of crime could also be related to the emotional reaction that was characterized by a sense of danger or bodily harm that were elicited by the perceived clues that one is in a dangerous environment.

Statistical overview of the fear of crime reveals that so many people fear crime more than the crime itself. The majority of the population were reported to have a fearful feeling while walking alone in a poorly lit lane at the wee hours of the night. There was a natural fear for darkness, but such a feeling was made worse by the fear of the unknown and the high prevalence of criminal activity in the dark. The figures recorded also varied according to the gender and age of the respondents. The media has also played a crucial role in highlighting the fear of crime among the citizens of the United States. It has come in handy with the fact that the media always covers crime stories extensively as they occur. It has changed the mentality of people towards crime as people have come to believe that there is more crime than in real life situation. As a result, such a belief has immensely contributed to the fear of crime in the society.

The issue of fear of crime has become a very prevalent issue that has raised debates all over the world. Many people in the current societies have expressed a lot of fear and anxiety about crime and the fact that they are being victimized for all the wrong reasons. The level of fear that people have depends on several factors. They differ depending on their age, gender, the location and any past experiences with crime. The factors above have an impact on the levels of fear of crime that one has been exposed to.

As a matter of fact, people have different reactions to crime. Researchers reveal that most people do not want to be caught at the crime scene with the main reason based on fear of crime. In this case, the women are the most affected and they never want to be found in a crime. On the other hand, other people fear victimization in case of an occurrence of a crime and they do prefer to stay safe and not even possess anything that may raise eyebrows or lead to harassment. In most cases, different characteristics in people prompt them to fear. In this case, the level of fear does not correspond to the risk of victimization. A person’s attributes may play a more substantial role than the other’s in determining the level of fear.

It is important to note that gender has been found as the strongest predictor to fear. With this in mind, it is scientifically proven that women have a much greater fear of crime than their male counterparts. Despite the fact that women are less victimized than men when found in the midst of a crime, they are the most fearful gender. However, a critical analysis of the several factors that may involve the occurrence of crime reveals that women have more reasons for the fear of crime than the male population. Women are not only weak at heart but their feminine and sexual features make them more vulnerable than the men.

Researchers did to reveal that women’s fear of crime is mainly instigated from their vulnerability to sexual aggression. Women themselves are exposed to crimes and they can be reasons for crimes such as rape cases. As a result, they not only fear crimes but also are alive to the fact that they are sources and they can be used as objects of crime. It is also a plain truth that women are ten times more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. As discussed above, so many rape cases reported involving bodily harm to the women and the girl child. The fear of sexual assaults and rape cases is also seen to transpose itself to other types of crimes. These are facts that women and the girl child have been made aware of. Therefore, this has culminated to their fear of crime more than the men.

Women have also been recognized as the weaker species among the creation. The social thinking on women and the fact that they have been made to think that they are weak has made them believe so. They have been socialized in thinking that they are weak and need men for protection and support in so many aspects of life. Any task that involves the use of power and strength have been left to the male species. In this case, women have been left to think that they are weak and they cannot compete with men when it comes to matters to do with strength. Therefore, since the day of birth, most women have depended on men totally for protection from any forms of attack. As a result, women are simply aware of the fact that they are vulnerable to attacks, therefore they are cannot even go out alone at night. Parents, media, and peers have loudly emphasized and reinforced this fear, and unfortunately, women have succumbed to it.

Alternatively, it has also been argued that women have less control over their personal and public space. They tend to fear strangers more, and they also have a natural fear towards men. The routine sexual harassment from the male gender makes women more fearful. They can imagine the outcome of a violent sexual harassment of an assassin. The exaggeration of the crimes against women that are over-reported by the media has also explained the higher fear levels among the women than their male counterparts.

Others have suggested and blamed women for contributory negligence on crime. Women should be able to prevent crimes and get to mature up. They have been socialized into the dependence of known men to them such as their brothers, husbands and male friends. They also have been socialized to a position that they cannot take responsibility for the offenses against them by giving chances to offenders. Women are seen never to raise alarms in crimes that they witness and can prevent by being brave and making the right decisions. A criminologist by the name Warr, suggests that women should drop the nonsense of fear and stake up their rightful positions in the community to preventing crimes. Their exaggerated fears have even led to fears of reporting and preventing small offenses such as burglary as they assume that such may lead to more serious crimes such as rape.

Women can be seen to be hysterically overreacting to a non-existent threat that makes them see high-level crimes go unreported. Others argue in support of the women that they are responsibly sensible to the reality that they can be the target of crime. Feminist writers and activists have defended the act by women and say that women are prone to physical threats and sexual violence at the streets, workplaces and even at home. Their vulnerability is just so high and very delicate to handle.

While the paper is determined to get facts right on the reasons behind the fear of women to crime, there is no question to the underlying stereotypes that women are fearful of unlike men. An example is clearly depicted from the studies done by Newburn and Stanko. The two duos challenge an assumption of homogeneity that is found within gender groups. They state that realists should stop demystifying the characteristics of men and women we talk since both men and women were largely homogenous. The assumptions on the society on social cohesion are possibly too optimistic. The realist victimology in a case of crime since crime is the problem for the working class, ethnic minorities as well as the vulnerable working class members in the society.  Newburn and Stanko further argue that little is known about men’s experience of victimization since most men do not come out clean on their torture experiences. It is, therefore, quite unproblematic to assume that men are ready to disclose their vulnerability.

As a matter of utmost concern, women are able to see risks and they have a greater sensitivity to risk than men. As a result, women tend to have higher fear levels as they are able to sense an impending danger from far. Such a situation is enhanced by a double interaction effect that has a relationship between the females and their environment. The interaction mentioned above may enhance a person’s risk perception. Thus, gender and risk perception may interact to enhance fear. It is also a true indication that hidden victimization, enhanced predisposition to the generalization against time, space and victimization experience may lead to greater vulnerability in women than men.

There is a difference between men’s and women’s levels of fear control management and the neutralization of fear. The fear levels are seen to be rational. Men are socialized to place relatively high value on their physical stature and abilities when caught in a crime situation. They can always employ different tactics such as fighting, punching the offender, ability to take a flight among others. Men have also been made to believe that they have a protector role to the children and the women. The self-esteem in men makes it even difficult for them to admit that they can be fearful or they were at a point fearful in their lives. In simple terms, men are taught and made to believe that they are immune from fear and harm.

Other suggestions have been made on the reasons for the great fear of crime in women than in men. These fears include the irrationality where women are the most targeted group in cases of crime. They offer an easy target and mostly fall victims in so many cases. Women also have fewer coping skills in a case of an attack or a crime. Most women are unable to fight or defend themselves. In many cases, they are also unable to take to their heels so as for free themselves from any looming danger. Women also have more than enough reasons to fear as they have much greater concerns for their children. At times they are with their children, hence they fear more for the innocent kids that they can fall victims unknowingly. In such cases, women are justified to have more fear than the men who have the energy to defend themselves and mostly walk into a company of fellow men.

However, statistics also reveal that a majority of women suffer regular low levels of victimization than men in the form of sexual comments and sexists. Therefore, the minor physical violations on them and the high levels of fear does not reflect the reality behind this fact. As a result, suggestions on how to treat female victims in case of violence and the advice given to them on how to avoid victimization has reinforced the fear of attacks on them. The focus should be shifted to the tactics on how women can prevent victimization on them and an improvement in the manner to cope up in a crime scene situation. Women should also be taught how to present themselves to the public. In summary, there is no one reason that women are more fearful than men, they simply have so many reasons that exist that make women fearful.



Criminal Behavior Essay

According to Lombroso criminal is a detach species that is connected with modern and primitive nature. He argued that physical body appearance determined if the person was born to be a criminal. He majorly emphasized on the shape of the head and face. These people were viewed to be primitive and believed to be unable to adapt to modern morality life. These views were supported regarding the biological and genetic makeup of a person. Persons with primitive genetic forms had massive jaws and ears, high cheekbones, extra nipples, toes or fingers, large eyes and were not sensitive to pain even when severely tortured physically. Lombroso noticed psychological differences among different criminals. According to his research based on psychological differences, killers had unique body features which included: cold, glassy, blood-shot eyes, masculine, curly, abundant hair, strong jaws, long ears and slender lips. In contrast, sex offenders had glossy eyes, muscular jaws, broad lips, lots of hair and projecting ears.

Sheldon views of criminal behavior were based on somatotype theory. He was a physician who observed the relationship between body build and behavioral tendencies, character, life expectation, and vulnerability to disease.  He came up with an idea of classifying people into three body shapes which corresponded with the three different personality types to determine the criminal nature of a person. People were believed to be endomorphic, ectomorphic and mesomorphic. The endomorphic were fat and soft also; they were thought to be friendly and calm also non-violent. Ectomorphic, who was slender and weak, were considered to be shy and reserved also could not commit a crime. The mesomorphic were masculine with huge bone were believed be more violent and prone to committing crimes and were more aggressive. According to Sheldon’s research, most criminals were believed to the mesomorphic people. However, Sheldon’s work was condemned on methodological and subjective proof by many scholars; Gleuck supported Sheldon’s theory on basing on criminal behaviors. Glueck discovered among the mesomorphs over 50% were antisocial the rest were not.

The biological theory explains that causes of crime are related physical body appearance, inherited genes, evolutionary factors, brain structure hormones role which are the factors that influence an individual to commit a crime. The mechanisms propose that some biological factors like specific genes, neurological deficits, low serotonin action malnutrition and environmental contaminants can also affect an individual’s biological tendency for antisocial behaviors. On the contrary, there are responses which biological theories offer, for instance in maternal health programs they have been applied to cases of smoking and drinking among expectant women, thus reducing neurological damage to the developing fetus.

The developmental life-course theory explains crime as a developmental process that begins before birth and persists throughout someone’s life. It relates a person’s relationship between genetics and personalities and also family and community issues. The theory argues that while genetic factors are likely to be more important in an early life of a person, the outcomes of social influences grow in due course. A major characteristic usefulness of developmental life course theory approach can be useful to the classification of major developmental moments that aims at promoting optimistic development. Also, it can be applied in pre- and post-natal care to ensure that infants are well taken care of during this stage. Additionally, the theory is applied in data analysis on offenders’ lives to plan for government reaction. Psychological on the hand theories focus on some perceptions that cause crime. It is imperative to note that the theory illustrates the connection between crime and personalities of person, Social factors, cognition and developmental factors. The theories have a different level of focus on people, family, and group. Psychology theories play a role in parent caring procedures and supervision on antisocial behaviors of children.

Second part

There are several theories which explain the cause of criminal activities among people. However, some people think that that crime is a rational choice also criminals weigh the rewards and punishment before committing a crime. Others tend to believe that criminals are biological and psychologically different from other law-abiding citizens. One common feature of all theories is that they approach crime focusing on an individual. According to the social theory, the society creates an environment under which a person commits a crime. In other words, the society influences criminals, and that crime is a social predicament not personal. Bandura’s social learning theory viewed crime as a learned idea from others. People may learn from others through observations, emulating and modeling. The theory was viewed as a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning because it focuses on attention, memory, and motivation. He believed in reciprocal determinism that antisocial behaviors are caused by the world and a person’s characters. Behaviorism states that an individual’s surrounding causes their behaviors. In his adolescent study, Bandura found out that behavior also influenced the environment. He later considered personality as individual’s ability to certain images in memory and language.

Third part

Social theories focus on three major theories of crime and briefly explain the importance through social environment. The theories are strain theory, social learning, and control theory. Strain theory views crime as a direct result of frustration and anger among the lower social, economic classes in society. Although most people share similar values and goals, socioeconomic class stratifies the ability to achieve personal goals. The strain is limited in an affluent area because educational and vocational opportunities are available. In disorganized areas, strain proliferates because legal opportunities for achievement are limited. To alleviate the situation, indigent people may achieve their goals through unusual means and reject the social norms.

Some criminologists focus their attention on the social processes and interaction that occur in all segments of the society. They believe that, rather than strictly being a product of their environment and their place in social structures, most people are shaped by their interactions with social institutions like schools and with social groups such as family, peers, and neighbors. As they develop and socialize over their life course, their relationship can either be positive or supportive, or dysfunctional and destructive. If the latter is the norm, then conventional success may be impossible for a person to achieve. The criminal solution may become an only feasible alternative. This view of crime is known as social learning theory which views crime as a learned behavior. Alternatively, control theory maintains that each person has the will to engage in crime or control themselves.

According to personality theories each person has their distinctive psychological structure and that only the same single person is the only one who possesses the characteristics. It is quite difficult to contrast one person with another; it is a biologically based theory. Personality theories focus on the comparisons among individuals. It suggests that traits share psychological structures in every person. Nature interactions influence must be well thought-out in respect traits development. Eysenck model of personality contains three components: the psychoticism, the introversion, and the neuroticism. He associates extraversion and introversion to criminal behaviors. Extroverts are thought to have huge, eager, action-oriented, talkative, and persuasive. While the introverts tend to be calm with a low profile. Individuals who fall at the far ends of either trait, either extremely extroverted or extremely introverted are at risk for antisocial behaviors. For example, the extroverts who are also unstable, a condition that Eysenck calls neuroticism are restless, tense and emotionally unstable. They may be destructive sometimes.

Personality is the reasonably stable patterns of behavior, which include thoughts and emotions that distinguish one person from another. A person’s personality reflects a characteristic way of adapting to live’s demand and predicaments. Our behaviors determine our personal interpretation of life occurrences and the decision to implement. Personality theories like a crime to personal traits. Traits such as impulsivity, hostility, narcissism, hedonism, and aggression are highly correlated to antisocial behaviors. Personality imperfections have been connected not only to aggression behaviors but also to white collar and business crimes. Personality theories suggest that some people lack concern, they cannot sympathize with others. This character makes them prone to antisocial behaviors. People or groups that share a character defect are known to be a sociopathic, psychopathic or antisocial personality.

Fourth part

In genetic, social and personality theories criminal activities are as a result of influence from different circumstances. Behavior and character traits in all the theories are common causative agents of antisocial behaviors. They all agree that behavior defines a person’s future life whether they will be criminal or non-criminals. In all theories, criminals are believed to have unique characters with unique physical appearances. Also, their emotional characters are different from other law-abiding citizens. While genetic theory views antisocial behaviors as inherited genes from generation to another and that people are born to be criminals due to the genes they inherited from antisocial family members. Social and personality view crime in different perspective, people are not criminal, and that criminal behavior is not inherited, but the environment influences them. The genetic theory does not relate crime to wealthy classes and family gap unlike the personality and social.


Criminal behaviors seem to the way of life for many people. People commit a crime in their daily lives so that they can cater to their needs. Various theories have explained the reasons for why people commit crimes and how criminal behaviors develop in an individual’s life. Until now the major cause of crime is unequal opportunities in both employment and wealth in among people in different societies. Employment and wealth opportunities are still concentrated among the powerful and the high class while those from lower class are still suffering. To solve this situation all should be given opportunities in all aspects of life if this is considered we will be sure of a society without criminals.


The Best Known Criminals in History

The human mind can truly become a very dark place. Criminals can look as normal as your next door neighbor but in reality they can commit the most horrendous crimes.

If your curiosity is getting the best of you, here are some of the most well-known criminals who have stayed in history for their notorious crimes.

Ted Bundy

Theodore Robert Bundy is one of the most well-known criminals in the world. He was a known American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, burglar and even necrophile, who was responsible for the assault and murder of many young, mainly college aged females during the 70s.

Ted Bundy was using his good looks and charm to gain the trust of his victims, approaching them in public places and faking an injury or disability, something that became a well-known characteristic of his. He would then assault them in more secluded areas, where he would oftentimes remain or return to and use the corpse until they were too decomposed to allow further interaction.

He was caught and executed in 1989, charged with aggravated kidnapping, murder and attempted murder as well as burglary. Bundy’s victims are said to have been more than 30, even though he only confessed to these many after more than a decade of denial.

The Zodiac Killer

The biggest mystery of the Zodiac Killer still remains, as nobody ever found out who he actually was. A man whose crimes made a huge impact in the state on California back in the 60s and 70s, he got his name from sending a series of taunting letters to the local press.

The Zodiac Killer targeted and attempted to murdered four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29. These are only the seven confirmed victims, two of which thankfully survived the attack. The Zodiac though, claimed as many as 37 murdered in the letters he sent to the newspapers. There are many suspected victims, but the only ones with solid evidence are those seven.

“The Godfather”

One of the most recognized criminals in history is definitely Carlo “Don Carlo’ Gambino, or otherwise known as “The Godfather”. This man, an Italian-American mobster, run the New York mob scene for many years but was never convicted of his crimes.

The boss of the Gambino crime family, who still holds his name, died naturally of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 74, without having spent a single day in prison.

Gary Ridgway

Otherwise known as “The Green River Killer”, Gary Leon Ridgway is known to be one of America’s more notorious serial killers. Convicted of 49 murders, he is said to have committed more than 90. He actually confessed to 71 murders himself while in prison.

He had murdered many young women and girls in the Seattle, Washington area during the 80s and 90s, most of which were said to be sex workers and teenagers who run away from home. He strangled his victims usually by hand and oftentimes returned to where he had dumped their bodies to sexually assault their corpses.

Ridgway was caught and convicted of murder and solicitation in 2001, without the possibility of parole. He still serves his sentence in prison at the age of 68.