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Vehicle-related crime and the gender gap

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Although vehicle-related offending and traffic offenders are of interest to some behavioural psychologists, criminologists have been less enthused and their concern has been largely restricted to crime to vehicles rather than crime by drivers or wider society. Both disciplines have, however, largely ignored the contribution of women to vehicle-related offending statistics, mirroring the pattern seen in regard to mainstream offending. This paper attempts to plug the gap by considering the relative contributions of men and women to motoring conviction data and self-report offending studies. To some extent it also does this by age, where evidence for a "ladette" style of driving among young women in England and Wales is examined from the conviction data. In general, a gender gap similar to that in mainstream crime is noted, and key theoretical explanations that could account for this are assembled. Implications for improving road safety and research are then considered given this gap and emerging support for the non-homogeneity of female driving styles.

Keywords: Vehicle-related offending; age differences; conviction data; enforcement; gender differences; self-report studies

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Sciences and Law, Brunel University, Middlesex, Uxbridge, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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