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How Gender, Race and Class Impact Criminality Levels


The level of criminality in the United States is impacted by various factors such as class, gender, and racial differences. Traditionally, the female genders have had a lower likelihood of committing violence compared to men and that pattern has remained until today (Fielding-Miller et al., 2020). There has also been a toxic relationship between crime and race. This is because the rate at which criminal activities occur varies between different racial groups as the majority of homicide victims are of the same race as the perpetrator (Fielding-Miller et al., 2020). Therefore, this paper examines how class, race, and gender impact the level of criminality in the contemporary America.

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How Race Impacts the Level of Criminality in America

When talking about who commits a crime, contacting ethnicity and racial discussions can arouse arguments. This is because there might be ethnic and racial stereotyping (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). However, saying that men and young persons have a higher rate of committing crimes without sounding biased against them, then, it should be acknowledged that some groups are likely to commit criminal offences without prejudicing them.

Ethnicity and race do seem to be related to criminality; various studies proof that Latinos and African Americans have high rates of committing crimes on the streets than non-Latino whites. For instance, although the population of African America is about 13 percent of that of the United States, they account for approximately 40 percent of all arrests for violent crimes (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Latinos reveal higher crime rates than non-Latinos whites, but lower rates than those for African Americans. The criminal justice system might be responsible for some racial variations; however, most criminologists acknowledge that variations exist for serious crimes that happen on the streets.

There is a misconception that the existence of these crimes might be attributed to the biological inferiority of some of the groups such as Latino and African American. Such arguments have been in existence for some years. However, they have already lost support because time has passed and people have changed their attitudes (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). At the moment, scholars associate racial differences in criminality with various sociological factors. For instance, Latinos and African Americans are poorer than whites, and increased poverty level raise the rate of criminal activities. In addition, these people are likely to stay in urban areas, which also add to the increased rates of criminal activities (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). However, even though there are racial differences in rates of criminal activities committed in America, it is also important to note that Americans are at the front line in committing most white-collar crimes, especially corporate offences.

How Gender Impacts the Level of Criminality in America

In simple terms, men involve themselves in more criminal activities than women. Data from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program reveals that men make up 82 percent and 64 percent of all violence and property crime arrests respectively (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Reports from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) indicate that men commit the majority of violent crimes that have been experienced (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Additionally, self-report studies reveal that men far outpace women in committing serious criminal activities in the streets (Sampson & Wilson, 2020). However, when it comes to breaching the law, crime is a man’s activity.

There is disparity in the number of men and women involved in criminal activities. Various scholars consider this difference to be caused by biological variations between the sexes (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). However, criminologists associate it with various sociological factors such as gender role socialization. Regardless of recognizing gender role, people raise the boy child as being firm and violent, while the girl child is brought up as calm and nurturing (Sampson & Wilson, 2020). The existence of such socialization in gender has many negative impacts such as increased gender difference in rates of criminal behaviors. The other factor is the opportunity; research done shows that parents are more watchful to their daughters than their sons (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Boys are allowed to stay outside the house even during the night. Therefore, this provides them with opportunities to involve in criminal activities.

How Social Class Impacts the Level of Criminality in America

Research findings on the impact of social class variation in criminal activities are unclear compared to those for gender variation. Statistic on criminal arrests reveals that the poor are more likely to commit crimes on the streets than wealthier people (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Nevertheless, some researchers associate the increased number of poor people arrests to social class biases against them. Regardless of this likelihood, the majority of criminologists acknowledge the unmistakable social class variations in criminal offending (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). It is also true that wealthier people understand that they should not walk in certain streets at night or even park there (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). They also recognize that some areas of cities that scare them are not occupied by upper-income people. Therefore, the social class seems to be related to criminal activities done on the streets, whereby low-class individuals are likely to do more crimes compared to higher-class individuals.

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In addition, the relationship between poor people and increased criminality centers on the impact caused by poverty. This is because it is said to produce anger, frustrations, and economic need. It is also associated with the desire to be respected and poor parenting skills as well as other issues that render young people prone to committing antisocial behaviors after reaching the adolescent stage (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). The combination of such effects makes the poor likely than high-class people to involve themselves in street offenses, even if it is true that most low-class individuals do not participate in criminal activities at all.

Although low-class individuals are likely to be involved in criminal actions on the streets, it is also true that high-class people also have a high probability of committing white-collar crimes. They comprise money laundering, corporate crimes, and embezzlement among others (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). These crimes are more harmful than street crimes (“8.3 Who Commits Crime?”, 2021). Therefore, considering both white-collar and street crimes, there appears to be a lack of social class-crime relationships.

Conclusively, this paper has explored how gender, race, and class impact the level of criminality in America. For instance, it is evident that in America, people of different race such as Latinos and African Americans, are highly involved in criminal activities. In addition, in terms of gender differences, men are more prone to committing criminal activities than women. Therefore, as people from different backgrounds, genders, and social classes commit crimes, some are more likely to break the law than others. Such social backgrounds comprise race, social class, and gender.


8.3 Who commits a crime? (2021). Web..

Fielding-Miller, R., Cooper, H. L., Caslin, S., & Raj, A. (2020). The Interaction of Race and Gender as a Significant Driver of Racial Arrest Disparities for African American Men. Journal of Urban Health, 97(1), 112-122. Web.

Sampson, R. J., & Wilson, W. J. (2020). Toward a theory of race, crime, and urban inequality. In Crime, Inequality and the State (pp. 312-325). Routledge. Web.

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