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NCJ Number: 78537 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Institutional Determinants of International Female Crime
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1981)  Pages:11-28
Author(s): L H Bowker
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 18
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
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this article, the relative influences of the four broad social institutions of education, politics, family, and economy, plus the process of modernization upon proportionate female crime is estimated using international data for 1974 derived from International Criminal Police Organization statistics.
Abstract: Each of the institutions is operationalized into three empirical indices, as is modernization, using data from an international handbook of data on women. Then these 15 independent variables are intercorrelated with 7 specific categories of female offenses plus total female crime, each rendered in proportionate form as a ratio of female crime to all crime detected by the police in each category. The correlation analysis is constructed so as to constitute a test of three competing theories of female crime: the violence-prone 'new female criminal,' the theory of economic need, and economic opportunity theory. Results showed the ratio of female crime to total crime as ranging from .041 for sex offenses to .091 for drug offenses, and to .100 for total criminal offenses. Crimes against property varied from counterfeiting (.053) through fraud (.078) to theft (.090). In no case are women committing an average of more than 10 percent of any crime category worldwide. Female participation in economic crime was found to rise as the crude female labor force participation rate and femaleness in economic activity rises and as gender segregation in economic activity falls. Concerning educational system variables, female proportionate property crime rises as the median female education level rises at ages 15 to 24 and 35 to 64. The family system variables also showed a more consistent influence on crimes against property than on crimes against persons. The data provide only weak support for the theory of the 'new female criminal,' but considerably stronger support for both the economic need and economic opportunity theories. With the evidence obtained, it is not possible to choose unambiguously between the need and opportunity theories. Tabular data, footnotes, and 15 references are given. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Economic influences; Female offenders; International crime statistics; International Criminal Police Organization; Social conditions; Trend analysis
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