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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193315 Find in a Library
Title: Predicting Symmetry in Female/Male Crime Rates
Journal: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:Fall 2001  Pages:1-9
Author(s): Craig J. Forsyth; George Wooddell; Rhonda D. Evans
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports for 1943-1999, this study examined changes in female criminality over this period.
Abstract: A literature review of research on female criminality did not find validation of the concept of a new female criminal or a female crime surge, but neither has it extinguished the inquiry. The current study predicts future trends in female crime based on past trends of female-to-male ratios of crime from 1943 to 1998. Data were obtained on six Index crimes: murder, robbery, assault, burglary, auto theft, and larceny. Rape and arson were not included, because rape is almost exclusively a male crime, and statistics for arson were not consistent for the period studied. Percentage differences between male and female offenders were calculated for specific crimes for each year. A regression line was constructed for this difference by year. Each line was characterized by R2, as a measure of confidence in future predictions and "b" levels to determine slope, as well as the expected year in which male and female crime would achieve equality if current trends continued. The findings showed that the share of most crimes committed by women had gradually increased, but larceny remained the female crime of choice. Female emancipation had also increased during the same period, suggesting that these two factors might be related. The role of women in crime is also expanding into traditional male areas of offending, notably auto theft and burglary. If trends in female crime continue, they will compose an expanding segment of these crimes. These data generally support the liberation/criminalization hypothesis either directly (women commit more crime) or indirectly (the criminal justice system is more willing to arrest and convict women). 3 tables and 39 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Female crime patterns; Female offenders; Gender issues; Male female offender comparisons; Offense statistics
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