Durkheim's Theory of Gender and Homicide: A Precursor to the Liberal Feminist Perspective on Crime?

Bruce DiCristina, University of North Dakota

Emile Durkheim generally neglected the concept of gender in his discussions of law, crime, and punishment, but he did provide a few noteworthy comments on the relationship between gender and homicide. He argued that women commit more intentional homicides than is commonly acknowledged, and he offered a partial explanation of why women, nonetheless, tend to commit fewer homicides than men. In this paper, I outline Durkheim's comments on gender and homicide and examine whether or not his viewpoint can be regarded as a precursor to the liberal feminist perspective on crime.

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Updated 05/20/2006