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The theories on female criminality are generally contaminated by popular stereotypes and myths regarding women. The involvement of women in smuggling, violence, communal riots etc witnessed the adoption of untraditional trends of crime by them, many of these crimes are problems of structural immortality and ethic affirmed. So, it becomes necessary to understand the phenomenon from a fresh angle.[1]

Aetiology Of Female Crime[2]

Is Female Criminality a Revolt Against Male Domination? Understanding the literal meaning of the term “revolt” means “when one does not conform to a system”. The modern miseries of women in the present society have their roots in their role crisis and ambiguous ambitions. As far as a revolt is concerned it is a deliberate move for a good cause while crime is indeliberate and impulsive that harm’s possibly one life or property. So women’s revolt as a cause of crime seems to be a remote conclusion as today’s conditions prevail.

 Is Female Crime Learnt?

In the contemporary era the fact that online and print media not only influences the behavioural approach moreover it tends to leave a robust impact upon an individual’s mindset that further shapes his thoughts and vision either leading to an affirmative or negative perspective towards life. It is the reality that people either copy or experiment with the mode of crime telecast on television or in a film. The researcher’s view confirms that learning theory of female criminality as most female criminals like to view detective serials on television and films screening scenes of violence.[3]

Important Factors Leading to Crime along with Case Study

1)Ahuja(1969) found maladjustment in interpersonal relationships within the family as a major cause of female criminality.[4] But, the present study reveals that it is sexual dissatisfaction which leads women to crime (16.7%).[5]Despite us entering the 21st century, sex education has not found its place in Indian Education System even sex though education is banned by many states. This biological need is socialised in such a way that an individual is given the training to suppress it when we talk of females things become worse because her socialisation does not allow her to talk of sex and even in marital life her over initiation may lead to misinterpretation about her character. On combing both Sexual dissatisfaction and extra-marital relations it’s 26.2%[6]

Case Analysis

Balbir Kaur [7]

Charge: Murder

Victim: Husband

Verdict: Life Imprisonment

Age at the time of committal of crime: 35 years

Cause of Crime

It was surprising why after 18 years of marriage a wife became so brutal that she even killed her husband. As he gets very little time to spend with family and Balbir’s sexual and emotional frustration led her close to another man of her son’s age.[8]


  1. Absence of proper counselling services for both partners addressing Sex-emotional considerations. The part of the onus also goes to the socialised sex that is not to be discussed openly.
  2. Ahuja’s findings support the view that economic compulsion leads women to crime.[9] When it comes to livelihood often one fails to adhere to the morals and values and the hardship forces a person to walk on the wrong path against one will.
  3. Another important factor which appears is the socio-cultural factors.
  4. In all 5.4% of the convicted female offenders are behind the bars for want of a child or a male child.[10] The reason behind this is quite evident that our narrow-minded cultured society is intolerant of women who cannot bear a child or a male child in addition humiliation and harassment faced by women leads to criminal tendency.
  5. In 12.5% of the cases, personality tilt is found to be the pushing force behind criminal behaviour. The theory of born criminals by Lombroso is quite relevant.[11]
  6. Biological Factor: Pollak’s view in his book “The Criminality of Women” (1950), elucidated the effect of hormonal changes during menstruation, menopausal stage and pregnancy period of the females as a contributory factor in the commission of crimes. Mood swings, abnormal cravings, and impulses are the major factors behind frustration in a female leading her to commit an offence. [12]
  7. Sociological viewpoint: Biasness and the absence of equal opportunity in addition to this dependency on men for necessities are reasons contributing to the suppression of women’s autonomy. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that after sexual dissatisfaction and extra-marital relation, the want of property rights (19.04%) followed by crimes reported as self-defence (19%), quarrel (15.5%) etc. there are many other personal reasons behind a crime.[13]

Analysis of the Behaviour Pattern of Female Offenders[14]

“She is a woman she is subject to victimisation” Although we are living in the 21st century it is prolonged. We got a constitutional guarantee in terms of rights, opportunity, liberty and freedom women’s destiny could not be changed. In the ancient era, agnates were preferred over cognates this custom is deeply rooted in Indian culture that even in the modern contemporary society the expressions “women-empowerment” and “feminism” have no profound impact when it comes to practicality. Regardless of her commitment to family, association in her work equally in society are not enough to give her due credit. Despite her awareness and abilities, women’s tame and submissive attitude are answerable for the savagery and badgering given to her.

Attitude towards police: The police force throughout the country is in a most unsatisfactory condition, that the abuses are common everywhere, that this involves great injury to the people and radical reforms are urgently necessary.[15]Attitude towards court: The democratic hope of the legal profession is its people’s orientation, not its lucrative potential nor its intellectual intricacies. 63.7% showed a pathetic picture, 25.6% showed their disinterest in the issue while others feel that money can purchase everything and judges and advocates are no exception.[16]


The legal justice system and society both are contemplated as imperative instruments for bringing a reformative change. The phenomenon of female criminality cannot be addressed until affirmative changes in socio-cultural practices and modifications in the criminal justice system are made.

1)The auxiliary place of women ought to be rejected by giving her due credit, equivalent opportunity and privileges by channelising her capabilities and intelligence.

2)Need of the hour is to establish an atmosphere focusing on the role-sharing notion. She should be given parity with men when it comes to taking vital decisions in her life including marriage, education and employment opportunities.

3)It is in many cases apparent that unknowingly they indulge in wrongdoings to keep faultless individuals from being marked as lawbreakers. It is strongly recommended that legal literacy campaigns at the grassroots stage must be launched.

4) India has always been a country wherein customs, and socio-cultural practices are given importance and cannot be overruled. It is expected from the bench that it should have its own eyes and ears to figure out the happening behind the crime. Efforts should be made to build a humanitarian environment, liberal provisions for parole, through examination before furnishing justice, and modern methods of reformation and rehabilitation for female offenders must be necessarily incorporated into the training of police and judicial officers.

5)Rehabilitative measures including vocational workouts, liberal wages and prison counsellors are firmly suggested.


As discussed above, wrongdoing anticipation is basically connected with the working of the legislatures, however with the change of time, a more extensive range of the crime prevention could be noticed, which alludes to combat criminality. The patriarchal outlook of our society is inevitable as a consequence women have forever been stifled and restricted to home life and controlled from getting fundamental schooling. So, it can be concluded that the overall social environment of women in conflict with law needs to be analyzed. The welfare of the entire community depends upon the wellbeing of the women, thus the society being one of the key institutions plays an active role in shaping her temperament and perspective towards life.

Author(s) Name: Shweta Pathania (Uttaranchal University, Dehradun)


[1] Pollak Otto, The Criminality of Women (10th Edition, University of Pennsylvania 1978)145.

[2] Anju Bajpai and PK Bajpai, Female Criminality in India (14th Edition, Rawat Publication 2000)73.

[3] Available at accessed on May 30, 2022.

[4] Ahuja, Ram(1969), Female Offenders in India (10th Edition, Meenakshi Prakashan Meerut 1969)69.

[5] Available at accessed on May 30, 2022.

[6] Anju Bajpai and PK Bajpai, Female Criminality in India (14th Edition,  Rawat Publication 2000)78.

[7] Balbir Kaur  v. State Of Punjab And Ors. Crl. W.P. No. 1204 of 1997.

[8] Anju Bajpai and PK Bajpai, Female Criminality in India (14th Edition, Rawat Publication 2000)163.

[9] Ahuja, Ram(1969), Female Offenders in India (10th Edition, Meenakshi Prakashan Meerut 1969)87.

[10] Available at accessed on June 1, 2022.

[11] Available at accessed on June 1, 2022.

[12] Otto Pollak, “The Criminality Of Women” (1st Edition, University of Pennsylvania 1,1950)192.

[13]  Anju Bajpai and PK Bajpai, Female Criminality in India (14th Edition, Rawat Publication 2000)85.

[14] Anju Bajpai and PK Bajpai, Female Criminality in India (14th Edition, Rawat Publication 2000)146.

[15] Indian Police Commission, The Indian Report (1902-03) para 30

[16] Ibid.