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Psychological Explanations in Sentencing Women in Tasmania


Henning, T, Psychological Explanations in Sentencing Women in Tasmania, The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 28, (3) pp. 298-322. ISSN 0004-8658 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/000486589502800304


This paper presents the findings of a study which investigated the extent to which female lawbreaking was attributed to psychological disturbance in written comments made by Tasmanian Criminal Court judges in passing sentence and in pre-sentence reports prepared for the Tasmanian Criminal Court. It was found that female deviance was viewed predominantly as a function of psychological disturbance and that while other factors were also relied upon to explain women's criminal conduct those factors tended to be discounted or subsumed into psychological explanations. It was also found that the evidence in support of psychological dysfunction in the cases examined was often weak or questionable. The implications of these findings are considered, in particular, the possibility that other significant aspects of the case may be ignored and that over-emphasis upon psychodynamic explanatory factors may produce a distorted view of the offenders and their behaviour. © 1995, The Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and Authors. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Criminal law
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Henning, T (Associate Professor Terese Henning)
ID Code:4604
Year Published:1995
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-24

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