Deviant behaviors are those behaviors that society does not like because the society does not see the behavior as a normal behavior for that society. Like gay marriages or cross dressers. Deviant behavior that is criminal is when the behavior becomes harmful to those in the society. Like murdering a person. A behavior that is criminal but not deviant would be driving under the influence or being intoxicated in public. A behavior that is deviant but not criminal would be a teenager with piercings and tattoos all over their body. A behavior that is both deviant and criminal would be spousal abuse. Society determines which behaviors are deviant and which are criminal. Governments or even individuals can convince local authorities that a deviant act is criminal or vice versa. Criminal laws vary because the laws are imposed by the local authorities so the laws will be different from city to city, state to state, or even town to town.
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Criminologists utilize three primary sources of data that provide information on the nature and extent of crime. Identify and explain each of these three different sources of crime data. Also, assess the strengths and weaknesses of each source. Finally, provide an example of a research question that a criminologist may be interested in examining and then explain which source of crime data the researcher would need to utilize to answer his/her question.
The three primary sources of data that can provide information on the nature and extent of crime are (1) crimes that get reported to the authorities, this includes the uniform crime reports and the national incident based reporting system (2) victimization surveys which includes the national crime victimization survey and (3) the self-report surveys that include the monitoring the future studies.
The uniform crime reports are recorded by the FBI and include all the crimes that have been reported to the authorities and how many arrests are made. The report that the FBI makes is sectioned out by city and county by the most serious crimes that occurred. These are called “part I crimes and part II crimes” Part I crimes include things like rape, robbery and burglary whereas part II crimes include sex crimes and other types of crimes not defined in the part I crimes. A strength for the UCR is the way that the data is collected makes the UCR a good indicator of patterns in crime. A weakness for the UCR is that many crimes are not reported to authorities and therefore do not get counted.
The national incident based reporting system goes a step further than the UCR does in that it requires local authorities to provide a report of the arrest that includes details of the incident and also information on the victim and the criminal. These reports are sent to the FBI for only certain offenses that include not only the offenses that the URC covers but also includes white collar crimes and drug offenses. A strength of the national incident based reporting system is that it includes more details on the crimes than the UCR does which will hopefully improve how accurate the crime data is. A weakness of the NIBRS is that it only reports crime that have been reported to authorities it does not include crimes that have taken place but not reported by the victim.
The national crime victimization survey is a survey that the census bureau does for the bureau of justice statistics on a yearly basis. The survey collects information from individuals about crimes even if they were not reported to the police. The survey collects information on the victim, offender and the crime that took place. People that are raped are more likely to report on the survey the crime instead of reporting it to the police because of fear, shame or embarrassment. A strength of the NCVS is that it includes crimes that are not reported to police by using a survey once a year. This allows the NCVS to give a more current picture of the annual crime that is taking place. A weakness for the NCVS is that it relies too much on the person taking the survey and hopes that the person remembers the crime correctly. If they don’t remember it correctly then the crime gets reported incorrectly.
Monitoring the future studies is a type of self-report survey that allows information on crimes to be collected without the person being identified as the offender. It is used to find out criminal histories and also find out about the participants background to see if links can be made between childhood crimes and drug use or between bad grades and crime. A strength of the self-report survey is that the person remains anonymous so the person is more likely to report drug abuse crimes and other crimes that have not been reported to the authorities. A weakness of the self-report survey is that people with criminal records are not willing to admit to their criminal activity because they do not want to go back to jail.
A criminologist may be interested in looking at how to reduce juvenile probation rates. The criminologist could use the data from a self-report survey like the monitoring the future survey to look at crimes that have been committed by the youth and how those can relate to the attitudes of the survey takers to see if there is a link between youth crimes and probation rates and how to reduce those crimes.
Rape is one of the most misunderstood and feared crimes. Identify and discuss the causal factors that explain why men commit rape.
There are five factors that can explain why men commit rape. (1)Evolutionary, Biological factors, (2) Socialization factors (3) Mental factors (4) Learned behavior and (5) sexual attraction to their victims. Each of these have explanations as to why men commit rape as we will see.
The evolutionary, biological factors go back to the days of the cave man. In this factor it is believed the reason a man rapes a women is because it is instinctual or inbreed within him from prehistoric times. Back then if a species was to survive it had to produce offspring and rape of a woman was a way to help ensure the male that his genes were spread and that he had a lot of offspring to keep the species alive. Sort of like the survival of the fittest only with a sexual twist. Males that were more aggressive towards women had a better chance of having offspring.
The socialization factors leads to men that are taught by society that in some cases being aggressive and raping a woman is ok especially if they get turned down by a woman. Men who have grown up believing that “no means yes” are the ones that are the most likely to rape a woman. They have been taught by other males that it is ok to be rough with a woman in this case because it is really what she wants to happen. Other men just rape because it makes them feel like a big man or like they are the ‘real man’ in their warped minds.
Mental factors that may cause rape include mental illness. Many rapist are mentally ill and do not realize that they are. Some have a “narcissistic personality disorder” that causes them to rape because they want to satisfy their own needs and feel dominant over the woman.
In the learned behavior factor it is believed that most rapists have been abused sexually themselves sometime in the past and have learned this behavior from those experiences or have learned the behavior from their friends or from watching porn.
Some men rape because they feel a sexual attraction to their victims that they cannot control. Within the sexual motivation factor it is believed that older rapists are more violent with their victims than younger rapists are because the older rapists are motivated by other factors than sexual attraction.
Men commit rape for various reasons from wanting to feel like they are in control and are powerful to just wanting to have sex. Others commit rape because they have no control over themselves such as in the case of someone with a mental illness. Others learn how to rape from the abuse they have suffered in the past. In any case rape is rape and it is wrong.
Explain the three causal theories of white-collar crime and explain which one best explains the Madoff Affair and why?
The three causal theories of white collar crime are the rationalization/neutralization view, the corporate culture view and the self-control view. Criminals often use these theories to help ease their conscience and help them live with themselves.
Our textbook says that “rationalizations allow offenders to meet their financial needs without compromising their values”. A lot of criminals start committing crimes when they are very young but with the rationalization view an offender would need to be an adult and be in a position where they could take advantage of the business that they work for in order to commit a white collar crime. They find themselves in a situation where they need money and commit the crime in hopes that they do not get caught. By the offender being an adult most of the time they have people in their lives that they do not want to disappoint. By rationalizing the reasons they committed the crime such as needing money to pay bills, etc. it lets them be able to live with the crime that they have committed. In the neutralization view there are three top reasons people use to help them deal with the guilt of the crime they have committed, “(1)everyone else does it, (2) it’s not my fault or responsibility, and (3) no one is hurt except the insurance companies, and they are wealthy”. Like the rationalization view the neutralization view helps the criminals deal with the guilt of committing a crime. It is a way to mentally cope and continue to live with what they have done. A lot of people take the stance of “it’s not my fault or responsibility” people today want to have money and enjoy life but they do not want to work hard to succeeded they want everything handed to them. When this does not happen they turn to white collar crimes so that they can continue to live the life they are used to and resort to using these two views to help them mentally cope with what they have done. I can imagine that living with the knowledge that you have committed a crime especially if that crime is against someone else it has to be hard to deal with that fact every day if you have any kind of conscience at all.
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The corporate culture view compares businesses with culture. Businesses that promote white collar crime and look the other way when that crime happens is like a culture looking the other way on an act that is happening in a society that they do not agree with. Our textbook states that “according to the corporate culture view, some business enterprises cause crime by placing excessive demands on employees, while maintaining a business climate tolerant of employee deviance”. To me this is like a big corporation like Windstream that I use to work for. They would put unreasonable demands on the employees that lead to some of the employees committing crimes against the company, but then just look the other way when someone in management would do something that was equally wrong or sometimes even the same crime. Most businesses today want to make a profit no matter what the cost is. When these businesses instill in their employees that making this profit no matter how it is done is a good thing this is when you end up with white collar crimes.
The self-control view takes the stance that white collar crime does not happen as often as people think it does because businesses hire people that have a measure of self-control that keeps them from committing a white collar crime. Most white collar criminals want something for nothing. They want the financial reward without the effort of work to earn those rewards. This is the same with any crime such as burglary. The thief when he breaks into a house wants to profit from the theft without having to do a lot of work to earn the same amount of money.
I feel like the rationalization/neutralization view would best explain the Madoff Affair because Bernard Madoff “claimed that he merely wanted to satisfy his clients’ expectations of high returns and that their demands simply could not be met by legal means”. In this statement he was rationalizing the reasons for committing the crimes that he did. He knew that the crimes he had committed over the years were wrong but he did not want to have to live with the guilt of those crimes so he came up with reasons for the crimes that in his mind were valid reasons of why he ‘had’ to do what he did.
Each of the three views of white collar crime has their own way of easing a criminals mind about what crime they have committed. Such as “everybody does it” or let’s just look the other way because “greed is good” and finally a criminal that wants “quick benefits with minimal effort”. Criminals will continue to look for ways to ease their minds about why they commit the crimes that they do
Siegel, L. J. (2011). Criminology, the core. (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub Co.
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