Historians and female criminality Statistical overviews of modern female criminality identify gendered patterns of crime in which women’s actions appear less violent and less threatening than those of men. Evidence indicates the presence of a judicial response, derived from powerful gender ideologies, which produces very different sentencing practices from those used in the cases of men. Gender ideologies have assigned women to nurturing and caring roles in a domestic sphere as though they were innate, which are then used to deny them a primary economic function outside the home. Consequently, female criminality is seen as deviant and against nature while much of male criminality accords with notions of masculinity. Explanations of low female criminality depend on either a psychology of deviance-only abnormal women commit murder-or models of female socialization-their upbringing and social world preclude this type of act —or economic factors which emphasize women’s marginalization in the labour market which in times of necessity and want thrusts them into criminally aberrant behaviour.1