Gender crime violence is defined as the violence that is imposed upon a person based on the gender. The chosen topic for this assignment is sexual assault. Sexual assault refers to a form of sexual violence that is imposed on a person forcefully. This issue is a common one in Australia. Statistics reveal that Australian women have been facing sexual assault twice more than the women all around the world (Casa.org.au, 2017). This statistics is alarming since the safeties of the women of Australia are at stake. Despite of improved gender inequality, Australia ranks third in assault against women (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017). This is a gender based crime since; sexual assault mostly takes place on women. One among six Australian women has been found to be victim of sexual assault, as compared to one among 14 women in around the world (Casa.org.au, 2017).
The impacts of such sexual assault and violence are wide spread and have a negative impact on the victim. The health impacts of the sexual assault includes metal trauma of the victim, along with psychological imbalance (Casa.org.au, 2017). The physical health impacts include cuts and bruises on the victim’s body. In worst cases, the victim might become pregnant as an effect of sexual assault (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017).
Liberal feminism theory
This theory emphasizes on equal and individual rights of women, along with the men. Liberal feminism is the most widely spread and accepted philosophy among the women all around the world. This theory defends the quality among the genders and emphasises on the importance of structuring the social and the sexual roles, thus promoting women (Braaf and Meyering 2013). This theory is relevant in case of the issues of sexual assault. The basics of this theory refer to the fact that men and women have equal rights. However, in sexual assault, women are portrayed as a weaker sex, and hence they are sexually assaulted. Since the rate of women being assaulted is much more, hence it could be considered that in sexual assault women are treated low (Burgess 2006). Moreover, the experiences of men are very different from that of women. A same incident is perceived and experienced differently by men and women. This approach highlights the fact that though men and women needs to be treated equally, however, they are not expected to react to a same situation in the same way (Chesney 2006). Thus, in case of sexual assaults, though at times, a situation of inappropriate touch to a woman might not be perceived as a form of sexual assault by a man, but is an insult and act of violence for a woman. Liberal feminist theory highlights the fact that some of the choices made by the women might be questionable as they might be conditioned by sexist social practices. With the cases of violence against women, and sexual violence against women, the theory of liberal feminism is violated (Chesney 2006). Liberal feminists highlights that pornography is a form of expression among people that needs to be kept beyond the reach of the control of the governmental policies. However, a believer of this theory highlights the fact that pornography as well as prostitution might provoke the tendency of violence against women, and sexual assault in men as well as women. The liberal feminist theory also puts adequate stress on the view that no woman of the society could freely give her consent to participate in pornography (Connell 2014). Thus, this theory is implemented to stop the discrimination against women and promotes equality among the men and women, with the protection of the dignity of each other, and due respect for the opposite sexes.
Critical masculinities theory
This theory refers to the various male offenders who carry out the majority of the crimes and sexual abuses and sexual violence. The traditional criminological research has highlighted that various dangerous forms of masculinity results in causing violence against the women. However, the crime caused against women, comes from a mentality where women are not treated equally. Thus, the sexual violence caused against women is linked to the gender based crime and masculinity theory (Heidensohn 2012). The biological differences among the sexes are mostly the causes of gender based discriminations. The new studies on masculinity theory highlights that it is not only linked to sexual offenses by men, but also with drug abuses, theft and other forms of abuses (Tomsen 2008). However, the majority of the crimes are caused against women, including sexual assaults and domestic violence. The crime is also based on the factors such as differences in class, race, ethnicity as well as power. The expression of power among men is often expressed as sexual violence against women as well as domestic violence. Moreover social power is also expressed by various gender based crimes (Braaf and Meyering 2013). Crime itself is a social resource to achieve masculinity. However, according to Chesney 2006, it is essential to highlight that violence and sexual assault might be caused by strangers as well as acquaintance. Most of the rape cases by the close acquaintance go unreported, and the offender is let go without punishment. Thus, it could be concluded that the masculinity theory focuses on the sexually inequality and discrimination against the weaker sex, usually considered to be women (Chesney 2006). The women need to be encouraged to report all forms of violence and inappropriate touch from strangers as well as acquaintance.
Sexual assaults are high in number in Australia than the rest of the world. However, in order to reduce this rate, it is essential that gender discrimination and gender based crime are mitigated. The liberal feminist theory supports the gender equally and provides a high esteem for women. However, the masculinity theory highlights the causes of gender based crime. Thus, it is essential to curb down the rate of sexual assaults in Australia, and provide men and women, a safe place to live in, respecting each other, along with each other’s support.
Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2017). Sexual Violence Research. [online] Available at: https://aifs.gov.au/projects/sexual-violence-research [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Braaf, R. and Meyering, I.B., 2013. The gender debate in domestic violence: the role of data. Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse.
Burgess-Proctor, A., 2006. Intersections of race, class, gender, and crime: Future directions for feminist criminology. Feminist criminology, 1(1), pp.27-47.
Casa.org.au. (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://www.casa.org.au/casa_pdf.php?document=statistics [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Chesney-Lind, M., 2006. Patriarchy, crime, and justice: Feminist criminology in an era of backlash. Feminist criminology, 1(1), pp.6-26.
Connell, R.W., 2014. Gender and power: Society, the person and sexual politics. John Wiley & Sons.
Heidensohn, F., 2012. The future of feminist criminology. Crime, Media, Culture, 8(2), pp.123-134.
Tomsen, S., 2008. Masculinities, crime and criminalisation. The critical criminology companion, pp.94-104.