SUMMARY Female Criminality Moterų nusikalstamumas Women’s social situation and status have changed, and now demographical indices show that male criminality is significantly higher, although there are more women than men. Many countries of the world have this situation, but female criminal behaviour became an important research subject of criminology, because the following question remained open: Why is male criminal behaviour different from the female one under identical crime circumstances? The main theories explaining female criminality are the subject of this thesis. There are many scientific interpretations, but so far, none was able to explain female criminality because many statements remained ungrounded. Female criminality in Lithuania during the period from 1918 to 1939 could be just defined by means of common characteristics due to various political, economical and social reasons of this period. Between WWI and WWII, Lithuanian female criminality was influenced by unemployment, consequences of global economical crisis, attitude towards women’s status in the society. Criminal structure of this sex was determined by rather small spectrum of offences, however, female criminality increased since the twenties of 20th century. In the Soviet period, there were few researches of female criminality, because the opinion dominated that criminal behaviour of this sex was not important in respect of common criminality. After analysis of various publications and criminological books of this period, the conclusion can be made that soviet criminologists paid great attention to criminality of other countries: they considered it as a result of capitalistic order. During late years, the rate of female criminality remained constant. Certain trends of increase could be determined while analyzing specific criminal acts, e.g. falsification of documents, robbery or deception. But the rate of acts of violence (murder, serious damage of health) is decreasing. During the last 16 years, women’s criminal behaviour was influenced by diverse economical, social, political and legal processes. When prevention of female criminality is analyzed, it is necessary to pay attention to reasons and factors that influence it and cause commitment of illegal acts. To implement the prevention of female criminality more efficiently, it is important to research the areas of life where women’s negative personal features and circumstances well – disposed to criminal activities are generated.