Student entries

A Woman’s Place: Not in the Kitchen, but in Political Extremism?


This continues our series of student reflections and analysis authored by our research team.


A Woman’s Place: Not in the Kitchen, but in Political Extremism?

Sarah Carrier

As the end of the Fall 2019 semester rolled around, I found myself analyzing the data I had helped collect over the past few months. I had only truly looked at 30 cases over the semester, which I had coded myself, and so I was curious how the entire tPP dataset looked as a whole. One thing that struck out to me more than anything else was the huge gap between the genders in the Prosecution Project data. I am unsure of the exact percentage of males to females in the dataset, but anyone can easily see that an overwhelming amount of crimes were committed by males. While the Prosecution Project collects information about those who commit political violence, it has yet to analyze this data systematically.

Therefore I decided to look into studies about the correlation between gender and crime, and compare that information to the tPP dataset.

According to “Gender and Crime: Difference between male and female offending patterns” majority of crimes committed around the world, with the exception of prostitution, are committed by men. The article says that women constitute only about 20% of arrests for most crime categories. Women are less likely to become repeat offenders and are unlikely to have long-term careers in crime. The article gives many theories as to why female arrests and incarcerations remain at a low rate:

“women defendants do appear to have a lower probability of being jailed or imprisoned. This difference appears to be related to a variety of factors: pregnancy, responsibilities for small children, the greater likelihood to demonstrate remorse, as well as perceptions that women are less dangerous and more amenable to rehabilitation.”

While there has been a rise in female arrests and crime, their rate compared to men is still very low.

This article, and other studies, corroborate the Prosecution Project’s initial findings. It is rare to see women arrested for crime, especially for serious offenses such as political extremism or terrorism. After looking at a collection of research on crime and gender, I had a realization.

One, women are less likely to be arrested because of leniency to women in the judicial system. However, that leniency has recently been decreasing. Second, perhaps a reason women are less seen in the tPP dataset, is because women are rarely seen in the FTO, DTO, or HVE organizations? So while the woman’s place is no longer at home or in the kitchen, it does not appear that their place is in political violence either.

Works Cited

“Gender and Crime – Differences Between Male And Female Offending Patterns.” n.d. Accessed December 7, 2019. https://law.jrank.org/pages/1250/Gender-Crime-Differences-between-male-female-offending-patterns.html.

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