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NCJ Number: 149568 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Changing Patterns of Lethal Violence by Women: A Research Note
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(1994)  Pages:99-118
Author(s): H H Brownstein; B J Spunt; S Crimmins; P J Goldstein; S Langley
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: 2 RO1 DA4017-03
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article uses case descriptions from interviews with nine women incarcerated for homicide to show the need for more research in this area.
Abstract: Of the nine women interviewed, seven admitted they had committed the homicide. Only two of these nine were involved in domestic disputes with abusive partners. Another had accidentally killed her boyfriend during a dispute with a male acquaintance who had been harassing them. Another had killed her brother during an argument over who got to smoke the last vial of crack. Two women killed men who were paying them for sex, and one had killed a female acquaintance during a dispute over an unpaid debt. Of the two who denied involvement in the homicide, one was convicted for the murder of a stranger during a robbery and the other for killing a male acquaintance. This limited analysis suggests that the popular assumption that most women who commit homicide do so in response to the abuse of an intimate, particularly a spouse, does not adequately explain homicide by women. The study also provides evidence that one explanation for varying and perhaps even changing patterns of homicide by females may be variable or changing patterns of drug involvement by women, particularly in the context of the economic system through which drugs are bought and sold. Women in the sample who participated in the drug trade resorted to violence to resolve interpersonal disputes. There is a need for more qualitative research that will allow greater numbers of women who committed homicide to explain the circumstances and characteristics of those killings. From these accounts, researchers can learn more about the social patterns and relationships through which women act as killers. 59 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Female offenders; Homicide; Offense statistics
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Humanist Sociology, Portland, ME, October 1992.
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