While traditional criminology has ignored the historical dimension of female crime, social historical literature has examined the interplay between gender and the criminal process in a variety of historical settings. This review examines studies focusing on changes in crime, prosecution, conviction, and punishment patterns over time, as well as studies in particular settings. From these studies we conclude that crime has not always been a predominantly male phenomenon and that female crime rates have changed over time. We also conclude that, within the different categories, women defendants in particular were perceived through a gendered perspective, and their criminalization and punishment, as well as its representation in popular culture, reflected this special perspective.


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