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Women in Crime

Theoretically, women's involvement in crime, as well as serious works on the female offender, has been underemphasized. Women have been viewed in a more traditional manner, as simply being part of the larger scheme, but not really involved (Adler, 1981, pp. 4-8). In the literature, there seems to be a certain chauvinism evident, one that clearly shows certain expected roles. For instance, within the Mafia family structure, most sources point out that the family is sacred. Women are treated in two ways (this will be explained in detail later in the paper): the wife and female children are held sacred and every attempt is made to keep them separate from any family business. For the Mafia man, his family is "outside" business, and even though it is clear just what that business is, it is rarely spoken about openly within the structure of the family. Secondly, outside the family women are treated as sexual objects. Indeed, the casual affair or mistress of the Mafia man is viewed with envy between colleagues, and the mistress is likely to be more involved in the business in the sense that it is she that is with the man at dinners, social events, and the like. Still, a certain chauvinism permeates the entire attitude of the Mafia since women are often excluded from meetings, or other business events (Arlacchi, 1986, passim; Ianni & Reuss-Ianni, 1972, passim).

The image of two distinct attitudes towa


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Women in Crime. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:15, October 22, 2014, from
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