Sample Essay

Strain Theory is one of the many theories related to criminology and according to this theory, the social structures that exist within a society might aggravate a citizen into committing crimes. It is believed that people belonging to the middle class of our society are staunch believers in certain values such as honesty, responsibility etc and this is where their status comes in. People who lack in certain values usually go through feelings of aggression and frustration. Such people already go through a number of problems in their daily lives and such lacking makes life even harder for them. Some of these people accept their hardships as fate, but most of them turn to crime. This number is increasing largely and it is said that “provisional data for 1997 show that respondents arrested in the past year for possession or sale of drugs and driving under the influence had the highest percentage of illicit drug use in the past year. Past year illicit drug users were also about 16 times more likely than nonusers to report being arrested and booked for larceny or theft; more than 14 times more likely to be arrested and booked for such offenses as driving under the influence, drunkenness, or liquor law violations; and more than 9 times more likely to be arrested and booked on an assault charge” (Spiess and Fallow, 2000: 1).

The article under consideration is “The conditional effects of stress on delinquency and drug use: a strain theory assessment of sex differences”, which is written by John P. Hoffman and S. Susan Su. In the article, the authors claim that although literature has proved that stress is a major factor which makes adults commit crimes, but there is also the fact that sex differences effect stress and the outcomes. The main point of the article can easily be related to strain theory. Life has profound effects on men and women. Life affects both the sexes in very different ways, which are at times harder for women to cope up with. Women here tend to get depressive while men on the other hand tend to get aggressive.

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