Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Course Description

There has been almost a 650% increase in the incarceration of women over the last 30 years in the United States. Not only are women’s crimes often different than men’s, women’s histories and criminal trajectories are often not the same. However, much of the academic and popular discourse has focused on male deviance, crime and incarceration. Over the last few decades, feminist scholars have developed theoretical and empirical work (feminist criminology) on girls and women’s participation in crime and deviance and the gendered social control of girls and women. In this course, we will explore this approach through topics such as women working in the international cocaine trade, “gun women”, mothering in prison and sex worker activism to gain a better understanding of girls’ and women’s experiences.

Student Outcomes

1) To appreciate the contribution of early feminists and sociologists to our understanding of girls’ and women’s deviance and social control.

2) To recognize how patriarchy shapes understandings and experiences of female behavior along with structural inequalities of race, social class and sexual identity.

3) To question the binaries of victim/agent and choice/coercion when considering female deviance and crime.

4) To use a global perspective when addressing female deviance and crime.

5) To explore how girls and women cope and resist labeling, oppression and social control via social justice and activism.