Changes taking place in the forms and dimensions of female criminality are related to increasing opportunities for equal participation in the mainstream of development and to other changing socio-economic circumstances. In some developing countries, it is suggested that the influx of foreign customs that are not in harmony with indigenous customs have an adverse effect on female behaviour patterns and are conducive to deviance. It is the experience of some developed countries that where the process of development and equalization of opportunities for women has reached a stage of relative stability, likewise the level of female criminality stabilizes but still does not decrease. Adolescent female delinquency is increasing massively. This also seems related to the change in women's role in society.
Although the incidence of female crime which came to the attention of the authorities during the period 1970-1982 constituted a relatively small portion of the total overall crime figures, it still gave cause for concern. In some developing countries, where rapid transitions were still taking place, it was considered to be a new or emerging phenomenon; while in some developed countries it was a familiar one that was assuming new forms and more serious dimensions. Offences such as infanticide, child abuse, adultery, abortion, shoplifting and other petty theft, prostitution, moral offences, etc., were cited as conventional female crimes in many countries; in others, however, serious concern was expressed with regard to an increasing female involvement in very dangerous forms of conduct, especially drug trafficking, frequently on an international scale, and acts of violence, including terrorism. In particular, it was reported in some countries that females participated at every level of drug trafficking, from criminal association at the highest level to quasi-domestic situations - for example, involving the provision of food for transporters of the drugs. Such trends were becoming particularly serious in a number of countries. In one country, the involvement of suspected female offenders in the drug trade reached a growth rate of over 200% during the 1970-1982 period. Terrorist activities were reported as a serious development in some countries, and, in that connection, the involvement of females in terrorism was becoming a common feature of the phenomenon.