Sex disparities in arrests by residence, race, and age: An assessment of the gender convergence/crime hypothesis

Darrell J. Steffensmeier, Emilie Andersen Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this report we examine whether differences in sex disparities in crime exist by population subgroup (residence, race, and age), using arrest data from the Uniform Crime Reports. We assess the utility of the gender equality/crime position as an explanation of any differences that do exist, and we propose alternative interpretations of the data. The major finding is that for most offenses, the differences in the female percentage of arrests (FP/A) are borderline or negligible. In those few instances where differences in FP/A exist across the comparison groups, they appear to have little or no relation to levels of gender-role convergence from one subgroup to another. Instead, we conclude that the differences in FP/A can be explained better as due to differences in willingness to sanction female offenders, to variations in opportunities for traditional female-based consumer crimes, and/or to differing levels of economic vulnerability among some groups of females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-80
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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