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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99531 Find in a Library
Title: Male-Female Differences in Elderly Arrests - An Exploratory Analysis
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:399-414
Author(s): D Shichor
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An analysis of arrest statistics drawn from the Uniform Crime Reports for 1981 revealed that there are more differences in arrests between males and females over 55 years old than between males and females in the general population.
Abstract: Females are arrested in substantially lower numbers in both the younger and the elderly population, but the share of female arrestees is higher in the general population, 16.3 percent versus 13 percent. Females have a proportionately higher share of arrests for major crimes than for minor ones, and that statistic holds more for elderly females than for the younger female population. The female share is higher in major property offenses than in major violent offense arrests. The differences in arrest rates between the younger and the 55 and older group are higher for females in violent Index arrests and higher for males in property arrests. Major crime arrest rates are much higher for males than females in both age categories, with the exception of larceny which is the dominant Index crime arrest among females, especially in the older age group. Elderly males show the largest differences -- 8 times more minor arrests than major ones -- while elderly females have the smallest difference. These results might support the 'chivalry' argument that police are more hesitant to harass women than men for minor crimes. Alcohol arrests were the most prevalent in the 55 and older group, accounting for more than half the minor arrests. People 55 and older account for 15 percent of the gambling arrests, an area where the arrests rates of the elderly come closest to that for younger offenders. There are indications, however, that most of these gambling offenses are very minor and may constitute harassment of the elderly rather than crime control. Tables, 3 notes, and over 40 references are included.
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Crime rate studies; Elderly offenders; Male female offender comparisons
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