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Sex and Involvement in Deviance/Crime - A Quantitative Review of the Empirical Literature

NCJ Number
American Sociological Review Volume: 45 Issue: 4 Dated: (August 1980) Pages: 691-701
D A Smith; C A Visher
Date Published
11 pages
Examination of studies of the relationship between gender and criminality or deviance indicates that the magnitude of this relationship depends on the year data were gathered, type of offense, and other factors.
Forty-four studies reporting data on the relationship between indicators of deviance or criminality and whether offenders are male or female are reduced to a single data base. Contingency tables are generated from the extant empirical literature on sex and deviance and comparable statistics are calculated, using instances where the sex-deviance relationship was reported for specific categories of class position, age, data type, year of study, level of family intactness, race, place of residence, and type of offense. The findings from 1,118, instances are summarized, and patterns are discussed. The overall results indicate that the magnitude of the deviance-gender relationship is dependent on type of data used, the percentage classified as deviant in a particular contingency table, whether the indicator of deviance is a single behavior or composite index, and race, besides type of offense and year. Moreover, analysis demonstrates that trends in the gender-deviance relationship over time vary by type of data and population group. Approximately 80 references, footnotes, and tables are included. (Author modified abstract)


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