Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Media & Communication Studies

Faculty Mentor

Katie Quanz

Project Description

Crimes are often difficult for us to comprehend, as they exist outside of social norms. However, female offenders doubly challenge our understanding due to gender stereotypes. In accordance with George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s work, the media tends to use metaphors to categorize the incomprehensible, including female criminals. After analyzing the nicknames, descriptions, and adjectives used to describe nine diverse women, I identified a pattern involving three categories for females accused of crimes: the “good-girl-gone-bad,” the “criminal mother,” and the “crazy woman.” The present research defines what criteria need to be met to belong to a category, and how intersectionality impacts the categorization of female criminals.


Presented during the 24th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2022 at Ursinus College.


Available to Ursinus community only.