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NCJ Number: 49851 Find in a Library
Title: EFFECT OF FEMALE SOCIAL POSITION ON THE SEX RATIO OF ARRESTS
Author(s): M L RADELET
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MODEL USED IN THIS STUDY VIEWS FEMALE ARREST RATES AS DEPENDENT UPON PREVAILING SEX ROLE EXPECTATIONS OF A COMMUNITY. COUNTY-BY-COUNTY DATA FINDS ARREST RATIOS STRONGLY RELATED TO EDUCATION AND INCOME OF WOMEN.
Abstract: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE FINDS THAT, TRADITIONALLY, CRIMINALITY IN WOMEN HAS BEEN EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF PHYSIOLOGICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAITS. AN EXPLANATION OF NEWER THEORIES OF SEX ROLE EXPECTATION IS BRIEFLY GIVEN. THIS STUDY HYPOTHESIZES THAT GENDER ROLE EXPECTATIONS ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO THE SOCIAL POSITION OF WOMEN IN AN AREA AND ALSO THAT THE URBANIZATION OF AN AREA AFFECTS THE SEX RATIO OF ARRESTS. DATA WERE GATHERED FOR EACH OF THE 83 COUNTIES OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. SOCIAL POSITION OF WOMEN WAS MEASURED BY WOMEN'S MEDIAN INCOME, MEDIAN YEARS OF EDUCATION, AND PERCENTAGE IN THE WORK FORCE. TABLES AND ACCOMPANYING NARRATIVE DESCRIBE THE FINDINGS. IN GENERAL, FEMALE ARREST RATIOS RANGE FROM .02 PERCENT IN RURAL COUNTIES TO .20 PERCENT IN URBAN COUNTIES. THERE IS DIRECT POSITIVE CORRELATION BETWEEN ARREST RATIOS AND FEMALE INCOME AND EDUCATION. THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE CORRELATION BETWEEN ARREST RATIOS AND AVERAGE FAMILY SIZE. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT WOMEN ARE LESS LIKELY TO BE ARRESTED WHEN THEY CONFORM TO STEREOTYPED SEX ROLES. ALTHOUGH MUCH HAS BEEN MADE OF THE 'LIBERATED' WOMAN CRIMINAL COMMITTING TRADITIONALLY MALE CRIMES, THIS STUDY FOUND MOST WOMEN WERE ARRESTED FOR 'TRADITIONALLY FEMALE' OFFENSES -- LARCENY, PROSTITUTION, AND RUNNING AWAY. THE ARRESTS FOR RUNNING AWAY ARE STRONGLY RELATED TO SEX ROLE EXPECTATIONS OF AN AREA. THE INCREASE IN ARREST RATES FOR WOMEN IS CALLED A FUNCTION OF CHANGING POLICE PRACTICES AND COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS, NOT NECESSARILY AN INCREASE IN CRIME COMMITTED BY WOMEN. THE STUDY INCLUDES TABLES AND REFERENCES. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Attitudes; Female offenders; Female sex roles; Females; Geographic distribution of crime; Michigan; Police attitudes; Role perception; Social organization
Note: PRESENTED AT THE NORTH CENTRAL SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION MEETINGS, CINCINNATI (OH), MAY 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49851

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