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NCJ Number: 200068 Find in a Library
Title: Political Economy of Urban Homicide: Assessing the Relative Impact of Gender Inequality on Sex-Specific Victimization
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:February 2003  Pages:35-54
Author(s): Mari A. DeWees; Karen F. Parker
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the ways in which the changing political economy of urban areas has contributed in different ways to the homicide victimization rates of females and males across U.S. cities.
Abstract: The study used a sample of 165 U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more in 1990. The primary data source for the dependent variables of homicide rates for men and women was the Uniform Crime Reports for 1989-1994; specifically the Supplementary Homicide Report. Census data for 1990 were used to compute the independent variables. Due to the relative infrequency of homicide incidents that involved females and the existence of year-to-year fluctuations in the reporting of homicide data, the dependent variables were based on an overage over the 6-year period (circa 1990). The study tested three hypotheses. First, an increase in gender inequality would lead to an upsurge in female homicide victimization due to the fact that women were more dependent on men for economic resources. Second, an increase in gender inequality should lead to a reduction in female homicide victimization, since women fail to gain status relative to men. Third, as gender inequality becomes greater there should be a decrease in women's homicide victimization through limiting female activities and opportunity for contact. The study tested whether female homicide victimization was uniquely associated with relative forms of gender inequality compared to male victimization. Overall, the findings show that gender inequality was a significant predictor of both male and female urban homicide. Although these findings suggest mixed support for theoretical arguments regarding gender inequality, further analyses found significant differences in the impact of specific types of gender inequality on victimization patterns across genders. Structural gender inequality in terms of education, occupation, and income levels contributed to female homicide victimization patterns in urban areas. Gender inequality in educational attainment was apparently particularly significant as a factor in urban female homicide victimization. The findings suggest that as many women continue to face structural disadvantage, subordinate economic positions, and limited opportunities relative to men in society, females' risk of homicide victimization may be reduced. Thus, the "backlash" and routine-activities perspectives may provide important arguments from which to further explore women's continual inequality in society. Future research should examine these patterns and associations in greater detail. 3 tables, 10 notes, and 65 references
Main Term(s): Homicide victims
Index Term(s): Male female victim comparisons; Sex discrimination; Urban area studies
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