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NCJ Number: 98163 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Rape Among Urban Women
Journal: Social Problems  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:(February 1985)  Pages:238-250
Author(s): M Warr
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Sample survey data from Seattle, Wash., for 181 urban women were used to examine the fear of rape victimization. The data were collected from a 1981 mail survey; respondents were chosen randomly from the Seattle telephone directory.
Abstract: Of the 500 residents to whom questionnaires were mailed, 339 (158 men and 181 women) returned usable questionnaires. Responses of the 181 women indicate that fear of rape is high for women of all age groups, particularly for those under 35 years old. For this group, rape was more feared than any other offense including murder, assault, and robbery. Rape ranked second for women 36 to 50 and declined to ninth for elderly women (66 and over). This relative decline in fear of rape was due to increasing fear of other offenses rather than an absolute decline in fear of rape. Of these women, 52 percent could be classified as fearful. As with the prevalence of fear, the magnitude of fear declined with increasing age. The high fear associated with rape among these women appears to be associated with both its perceived seriousness and its perceived likelihood. The correlations between fear of rape and fear of 15 other offenses show that rape is not perceived as an isolated event but as one that does or may include other serious offenses (i.e., threat with a weapon, robbery, assault, and murder). In terms of precautionary measures, fear of rape appears to affect women most by dictating where and how (but not when) they travel. Overall, results indicate that fear of rape is a problem of considerable magnitude and consequence. Tabular data and 29 references are included.
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Public Opinion of Crime; Rape; Victimization surveys
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