Book Review: Girls, Women, and Crime: Selected Readings

Published date01 September 2005
Date01 September 2005
Subject MatterArticles
Book_Reviews.vp Book Reviews
cess and how families can be aided as they attempt to reach ongoing recovery. This well-
written text will be useful for clinicians, researchers, students, families, and individuals.
Caren J. Frost
University of Utah
Girls, Women, and Crime: Selected Readings, edited by Meda Chesney-Lind and Lisa Pasko.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004. 259 pp.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016805282755
Criminology as a discipline has been, for many years, intellectually retarded and distorted
in its theoretical development. The causes of this profound disability were, as is generally
true of crime, multifaceted. The most crippling aspects resulted from an inability, or a refusal,
to acknowledge the centrality of gender as both a theoretical underpinning and context for the
interpretation and understanding of social interaction. The sun has slowly dawned on some
territories within the world of crime, violence, and victimization, enabling clearer identifica-
tion of many of the problems and their possible solutions. Central to such development has
been the recognition that gender runs as a fault-line through every crime category, every vic-
timization experience, and every criminal justice system response. Children acquire gender-
ed identities living within gendered homes in gendered societies and, unless killed first,
become adults whose lives reflect these gendered realities. It should therefore come as no sur-
prise that criminal offending and victimization will reflect, as well as shape, such realities
and that the justice and welfare agencies responding to crime will also be gendered in their
responses and interventions.
It is against this backdrop that editors Meda Chesney-Lind and Lisa Pasko have selected
the readings presented in Girls, Women, and Crime. They argue in their introduction that the
causes of crime cannot be understood without consideration of the social context of patriar-
chy. This shifts gender from inclusion as a variable to recognition of its influence in shaping

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