Everybody knows that throughout history and cultures, males are more likely to commit crimes. According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), men account for approximately 86 percent of violent offenders while women only account for 14 percent. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) also states that males experience higher victimization rates of most types of crimes.
It can be hard to explain why male crime rates are higher than female crime rates when both groups live in the same neighborhoods and go to the same schools and workplaces. If it’s not the environment, then perhaps its developmental differences. Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that girls express more positive emotions and internalize emotions, while boys externalize emotions sooner than girls. Science research also reveals that women tend to engage in indirect aggression when compared with men.
Science proves there are cognitive differences between males and females. First, girls have stronger verbal and math abilities and boys have stronger visual-spatial abilities. This means that girls tend to acquire language skills faster and have less reading problems then boys. Research shows that women have good listening skills, effectively express empathy and ready body language better. As a result, women may tend to be better at resolving interpersonal problems and establishing emotional rapport. All of this may help to minimize conflict and engaging in criminal behaviors.
It is a fact that boys are socialized to be more assertive and retaliatory. Boys are taught at a young age to seek the approval of peers through aggressive behavior, regaining honor and socially deviant actions. Girls are often more supervised and held accountable by parents. They are conditioned to repress their anger or express it through indirect aggression like gossip and interfering with relationships. As adults, men may be less likely to be empathetic and form attachments with others. Men often feel their aggression is justified, which perhaps explains why almost 30 percent of women experience domestic violence.
The Department of Justice states that up to one-fourth of all violent crimes have been committed by juveniles in past years. Young men who grow up in poor neighborhoods without access to quality education, safe social activities and good jobs have little reason to not commit crimes or join a gang for survival. Even divorce has a huge impact on children because they are more likely to be abused and receive public assistance while being less healthy and likely to succeed in school.
There are many reasons why criminals are likely to be men, which include social, gender and development issues. There is also the growing problem of bureaucratic chivalry towards female offenders and the targeting of minority males in urban settings.