Sunday, 7 June 2009

Why are boys so bad?

Crime is a young man's game.

I choose my words carefully here. Offending rates show clearly that the propensity to commit crime is far greater for males than females. The propensity is also higher for young rather than older men.

The chart above illustrates the proportion of offenders for each age group from 10 - the minimum age of criminal liability in the UK - up to 70. An offender is defined as someone found guilty of, or cautioned for, an indictable offence in 2007.

For men, the rate of offending peaks at 18 when around 6.4 percent of that age group commit some kind of offence. The mini-peak at 25 is an arbitrary allocation of all offenders whose age can not be determined.

For women, the peak is earlier at age 15, when around 2.4 percent of girls do something naughty. However, their offending rate is significantly lower than men at every age cohort.

So, why are young men so bad? I can't help recalling that old rhyme"

"Boys are made of worms and snails and puppy dog tails,
while girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice"

16 comments:

K T Cat said...

We are naturally more agressive. We're designed to protect and hunt. There's an old saying to that goes something like, "Men conquer, but women civilize."

Why this comes as a surprise is beyond me.

electro-kevin said...

Thrill seeking rather than outright aggression - though thrill seeking may sometimes manifest itself as aggression.

We need excitement when we're young. It's programmed into us through genetics and is an essential requirement for the advancement of mankind. There is also the need to demonstrate to others that we can be exciting too.

sobers said...

Testosterone.

Anonymous said...

Women don't get caught as often as men.

Read "The Criminality of Women" by Otto Pollak, or "Sisters in Crime" by Freda Adler, or "Women and Crime" by Rita James Simon.

Anonymous said...

Courts may be more lenient on women.

Man in a Shed said...

I think what sobers said is true in part.

But it is also our society that doesn't any more take into account the male need for challenge, authority and discipline ( see progressive schooling ).

Anonymous said...

Women are not held accountable for their actions while men are. Take prostitution for example, women sell sex and are seen as victims. Compare that to the male cannabis dealer, they sell a recreational drug and are seen as villains...

Anonymous said...

The British "justice" is strongly in favour of women. From personal experience a man can be attacked by his girlfriend, but when he goes to the police he is ignored. He then asks his girlfriend what is wrong and he gets arrested for harassment, loses his job, and is refused access to his children. How many assault and harassment cases are there against women? I believe 40% of assaults are carried out by women, but fewer than 10% are prosecuted! The police will always go for the easy conviction against the man.

electro-kevin said...

Testosterone ?

I think that's right. It would be fun to cut their balls off and see.

In the meantime, off topic, Dan Hannan on form again here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8088541.stm

Man in a Shed said...

Alice - there's an article on "The Warrior gene" in today's Telegraph.

If its true then we should be thinking about changing how our society is structured to allow some of the instincts of boys positive expression, rather than failing in repression.

Anonymous said...

It was always a BIG mistake to infantalise young men and allow them to be removed from basic responsibilities. Without the basic responsibilites central to their lives - family, work, education, enterprise - young men go haywire. Young men are full of energy and strength: that has to be directed towards productive activities. Pumping them full of alcohol and welfare, is a recipe for violence. It's time for basic disciplines to come back.

Anonymous said...

What K T Cat said.

Anonymous said...

Once young males are placed in an environment that lays out their responsibilities, and frames the challenges of their life in a way they can understand, then you get focus and work. If you strip them of any purpose or worth, tell them nobody cares (the New Labour approach), endlessly produce propaganda that men are useless, superfluous, a waste of space (and other great sayings of Harriet Harmon et al), then don't be surprised if you wake up to a world just like Clockwork Orange: vicious gangs of males on the prowl for power, wealth and puu-say.

Anonymous said...

The feminization of the education system.

formertory said...

Remove women from the process of teaching and supervising young men in schools, prisons, social work, probation. Women think they can deal with young men on their own terms and civilise them; they can't.

Many young men have a "mob mentality" from very early in their lives. I won't dignify it with the words "pack mentality". They need to understand on an individual basis who's boss, and what happens when you piss him off.

Then when they grow up they'll be civilised.

Oh, and sorry about this one (though god knows why I should be), but bring back birching instead of ruining a young man's future prospects by giving him a criminal record and a stay in the nick. Talk about a cruel and unusual punishment; young man does someyhing stupid; punishment is to make him unemployable forever. No wonder most of them reoffend. If you make sure they've nothing to gain, they'll have nothing to lose.

Anonymous said...

I agree: disciplining measures (a man's way) are better for these guys than legal and court measures (a woman's approach to the problem). Women like the idea of nicey-nicey away the problem (using the police and then the court and prison system). Men see a flawed character and prescribe a short, sharp jolt of discipline and character-building: better for the long-term future of the lad. Think of the 'bad boys' who became famous and wealthy in the old days: Steve McQueen, Keith Moon: all these guys would be behind bars if they grew up under Labour.