Study Questions for Messerschmidt
Messerschmidt Study Questions
1. Give examples of what the author means when he states that "criminology pushed questions of gender to the margin."
2. Why are traditional sex role explanations of the gendered nature of crime inadequate?
3. What are the two reversals to our normal thinking about gender and crime that Messerschmidt will offer?
1. Discuss the gender blindness in each of the following theories (a) Merton's anomie theory (b) Hirschi's control theory (c) Lemert's labeling theory
2. How did each of the following authors account for the differences in the crime patterns of males and females? (a) Lombroso (b) Bonger (c) Pollak
3. Why can it be argued that (a) Hirschi and (b) Hagan both have constructed criminological theories which devalue women and girls while valuing men and boys, even when they exhibit the same social behavior? Has empirical research proven Hagan correct?
4. In what ways have the following theorists incorporated traditional sex role explanations of the gendered nature of crime? (a) Sutherland (b) Parsons (c) Cohen
5. Discuss the major problems with sex-role theory.
1. Discuss the shift in radical feminism toward biological reductionism.
2. Why does radical feminism now focus on violent heterosexual masculinity?
3. What are the major problems with the theory that violent heterosexual masculinity is being used to uphold patriarchy?
4. Why has socialist feminism chosen domestic labor as a key area for discussion?
5. How has Messerschmidt attempted to use insights gained from socialist feminist criminology in his own research?
6. What criticisms of his research has Messerschmidt received from feminists?
1. Summarize the author's objections to the use of either radical or socialist feminism as a basis for understanding the gendered nature of crime.
2. What is Messerschmidt's overall theory of human behavior? Do you agree or disagree with his presuppositions?
3. Who has benefited historically from the gendered division of labor? Give examples.
4. In what ways is the gendered division of labor related to gender relations of power?
5. The author rejects an essentialist understanding of gender for what alternative model?
6. In what ways is hegemonic masculinity related to male criminality?
1. What evidence from gang research points to the fact that such behavior tends to mirror traditional gender distinctions?
2. What did Chambliss's study "The Saints and the Roughnecks" discover about the relationship between social class, masculinity, and delinquency?
3. Describe the types of behavior typical of accommodating and opposition masculinities in the schools.
4. What is the relationship between race-bias crime and gay-bashing activities and certain types of adolescent hetero-masculinity?
5. Why does the author argue that there is a link between lower-working-class, racial minority youth and robbery? Does the author appear to be himself biased?
6. What insights does the author offer on the Central Park Jogger wilding incident?
1. Discuss the authority and control exercised by pimps over prostitutes.
2. What is the relationship between workers and shop-floor theft? between workers and sexual harassment?
3. Why is corporate crime essentially a male affair? Describe the types of crimes that are typically committed?
4. Why is sexual harassment by corporate executives such a major problem?
5. Describe the types of male criminality which occur within the family unit.
6. What are force-only rapes? Why are such events likely to be undereported?
1. What evidence is presented that gender is a major characteristic of the state and a principal domain of its operation?
2. What role did 19th century social feminists play in the regulation of prostitution?
3. How did the nation respond to the emergence of flappers in the 1920s?
4. Discuss the stages in Stanley Cohen's model for explaining how the state attempts to control deviant populations?
5. Describe the gendered division of labor within the criminal justice system.
6. Why did male police officers object to the introduction of women to the profession?
7. In what ways does street-cop masculinity result in the discretionary enforcement of law?