Exploring the Link Among Masculinities, Persistence, and Desistance From Crime - Paper Example

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Vanderbilt University
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The article evaluated the relationship between masculinity, persistence, and cessation from crime among male juveniles. From the study, Carlsson, (2014), found that "the process of persistence and desistance are imbued with age-specific norms of what means to be a man' and successfully do masculinity in different stages of life." The finding depicted that the process of crime concerning masculinity has a self-transformation that is impelled by the offender through a transition into male adulthood. According to the results of the study, I agree with the findings that age-specific norms play a role in the transformation that enhances desistance of male offenders from crime. This paper will, therefore, support the idea that masculinity, persistence, and cessation from crime have a significant relationship as observed during the transition into adulthood.


The measurement of this study is accountable and applicable in evaluating the social practice and therefore their findings and conclusions are reliable in supporting other studies. The author used an interventional study where he followed juvenile male offenders from their teens through adulthood. From this methodology, it is reliable, accountable and verifiable concerning it application in this study and therefore I support the congruent conclusion made by Carlsson, (2014). When studying behavior relationships, a follow-up study can give the best results as compared to other methodologies such systematic literature review. Concerning masculinity, it is widely used to describe men thus supporting the profound explanation why females were excluded from the study. According to a previous study, it was found that females are not culprits of serious juvenile delinquency, but they take part in socially destructive behaviors such as promiscuity and prostitution thus excluding them. Another strength of this study is the use of personal statements that were collected through interviews which is a reliable data. The recruitment criteria used in this study is also significant determinant of the reliability of the results. From the article, the sample size is quite small although "thick descriptions" were collected from the cohorts and this shows the strength and reliability of the results.

The study has exercised bias thus questioning the validity of their findings. From another implication of excluding females from the study, it should also be understood that doing masculinity is a social practice that can also involve women. Although doing masculinity has been historically used as the opposite to femininity, their participation is highly reflective on the validity and applicability of the study results. Isolation of women from the study, therefore, is a weakness and it signifies a significant bias of the results. The exclusion of females from the study also affects the accuracy of the measurement in this study. From one reason or the other, one should understand that at the juvenile age, both males and females are subject to any criminal offense. Additionally, females were argued by one study in their literature review that they are scarce when considering their persistence in serious juvenile delinquency although they represent a significant niche in the community. The small group of females that are subject to serious crimes can be mayhem to the community, and therefore the decision by the author makes the study questionable regarding the results, findings, and conclusion. I support the argument by Carlsson, (2014), concerning the scarcity of female offenders associated with criminal careers and therefore it was analytically difficult to include females in the study thus making the results of the study reliable.

As much as I support the results, findings, and conclusion of this study, the sample size used for this research is not sufficient enough to generalize the findings of the study which is a key weakness. From the sample size, many participants pulled out the study which is an indication of inadequate data to generalize the results. In a population, composed of people with different cultural perspectives, we don't expect all of them to present with a uniform outcome. Again, the final group of males that was interviewed was 25 out of 44 participants whereby the rest were females excluded from the study. The male population is very small owing to the fact that at the start of the study, 420 participants had been recruited. The sample size has affected the reliability of these results. Concerning generalizability of the study, excluding females from the study was ineffective regarding their contribution in crime and despite their scarcity.

Concerning the validity issues of this study, the methodology and data analysis used by the Carlsson, (2014), applies to the study, and therefore the results can be used to generalize other studies in the same place and related social problems. Data collected, and in the case of this study, "thick description" by the participants concerning their crime career can be used to account on the validity of these results, findings, and lastly the conclusion of the study.

The conclusion of this study has a significant impact on our world. First, understanding crime is one of the key impacts depicted by the study findings. Crime life is a process that is driven by masculinity, and it has a peak age where many of our young males find their way into serious delinquency (Carlsson, 2014). As stated by the article, they found that juvenile males were involved in criminal cases, but after masculinity transformation, they did away with the behavior. Secondly, the study has coined the implication that masculinity should not be used to distinguish males from females by making it sound as an opposite meaning for femininity but as a maturity stage. From the literature, masculinity has been associated with men, and the most profound description of this aspect is that it is a developmental stage in life. According to Carlsson, (2014), some of the study participants explained that they were involved in crime because they behaved and reasoned like kids. Eventually, after realizing that they were adults "masculine," they decided to pull out their crime career. The article has provided a general understanding that masculinity should be associated with maturity or more specific adulthood.

The persistence of crime at the juvenile age in the world should be taken as a stage thus implying that the offenders will transform after realizing their masculinity or adulthood. Concerning the desistance from crime career, the study has also indicated why some of the offenders are so persistence in criminal activities which is due to lack of self-realization. The criminal activities among youths contribute to a higher percentage due to poor transformation. The transition from youths to adults is also a significant impact in the world concerning cessation from crime. Another impact of this study on the world is that mentorship can be used to enhance transformation among youths involved in crime. According to the conclusion made by Carlsson, (2014), some of the participants pull out of the crime career after meeting with elderly individuals and models who helped them to understand what they were doing, its impact, and lastly their transition. Across the world, crime is also a social behavior that is highly influential. The relationship between crime and social behaviors as depicted by the article has shed light to the world that embracing masculinity as a social practice can be used to enhance transformation of offenders.


In conclusion, I strongly agree with Carlsson's findings that "the process of persistence and desistance are imbued with age-specific norms of what means to be a man' and successfully do masculinity in different stages of life." The reason I believe in this conclusion is that juvenile males are good at emulating what people around them are doing thus contributing to their persistence in crime. The aspect of masculinity as described by the article to mean adulthood, it is a stage of realization whereby these offenders are likely to transform, and lastly they will desist from crime. Again, on the other hand, there are males involved in serious crimes even at their old age which disqualifies the findings. The study has also excluded females which is a weakness in their conclusion and the applicability of these findings in the general community. Females also play a significant role in crime and this indicates that the supporting hypothesis to exclude females because of their scarcity in crimes was exaggerated.


Carlsson, C. (January 01, 2014). Masculinities, persistence, and desistance. Continuities and

Changes in Criminal Careers, 661-693.

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