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White-collar crime is just one type of crime. Crime, or the violation of a written law, is a specific kind of deviance. What constitutes a crime varies from society to society.
In our society, sociologists have identified three general categories of crime:
Sociologists studying crime and deviance study statistics on who commits crime. Identifying a criminal profile can help sociologists understand the causes of crime and other deviance. Sociologists use the categories of age, gender, social class, and race and ethnicity to create this profile.
Young people, roughly between the mid-teens and early twenties, commit almost 40 percent of all crimes. The likeliness to commit crime, particularly violent crime, decreases as one ages.
Men are arrested for crimes far more often than women. Men are arrested for approximately 70 percent of all property crimes and 80 percent of all violent crimes. Several theories, including the following, attempt to explain this situation:
The gap between the number of arrests for men and the number of arrests for women is narrowing, however. This could be due to greater gender equality or, as some believe, to the rising number of women who commit crimes.
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