FEMALE AND MALE HOMICIDE VICTIMIZATION RATES: COMPARING TRENDS AND REGRESSORS*

Authors


  • *

    We thank the editor, reviewers, Carolyn Block, Linda Langford, David McDowall, Terrie Moffitt, and Dwayne Smith for useful comments. The data and basic programs are available at http://morton.wm.edu/~cemood/homicide2.data.

  • Thomas B. Marvell is a sociologist/lawyer. He is Director of Justec Research.

  • Carlisle Moody is an econometrican and Chairman of the Economics Department at the College of William and Mary.

Abstract

This study compares national female and male homicide victimization rates (HVRs) during 1930–1995. The trends are almost the same, even when separated by race, in spite of large gender differences in HVR levels. When regressing female and male HVRs on demographic, economic, social control, and other variables, the coefficients differ between the sexes only to the extent expected by chance. The important predictors relate to offenders and are independent of the type of victim; the incapacitation impact of prison populations is especially strong for all HVRs. This is consistent with others' findings that men who murder women, and even those who commit sexual and partner assaults, have criminal records nearly as bad as offenders generally. These findings have implications for several broader topics: the usefulness of data dis-aggregation, the usefulness of crime situation theories, the reasons for declining homicide rates, and strategies for reducing violence against women.

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