女 are neutral with politeness in formal contexts. In conversation or colloquial style, they may be (but not necassarily) used to imply rudeness, and
女性 are more polite.
When you listen to Japanese news, you will hear both
女性. That is a very ashameful aspect of the Japanese culture, and it reveals that the Japanese society is still immature. In these contexts, the announcers are expected/pressured (by the society/broadcasting company) to express personal feelings against criminal suspects by the use of language.
女are used for offenders (or suspects as well in earlier days) to express that the announcer is siding with the victim and is hence showing a personal dislike to the offender/suspect. This kind of language use is generally subsumed under the notion of 呼び捨て. Other examples include: avoiding to put the polite affix
さん to criminals. This departs from the nature of journalism being a neutral and factual information source, and its idea is to add a non-official punishment to the criminal/suspect besides the official judgement given by the court.