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Sex, Race, Age, and Violent Offending

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Although there is an increase in attention being paid to race and sex variations in crime and delinquency, little has been done to disaggregate the "gender-ratio" problem in order to account for participation in particular offenses, specifically different types of violent crime. Virtually all of the research pertaining to the interaction of gender, race and -violent crime focuses on murder and dichotomizes race into white and black, or white and nonwhite. This paper uses New York City arrest data to examine the extent of violence within various race-sex-crime subgroups. Rates of violent offending (i.e., homicide, robbery, assault, and burglary) are presented for black, Hispanic and white males and females.

Regardless of violent crime type, black and Hispanic females exhibited high rates of offending relative to white females. Furthermore, the violent offending rates of black females paralleled those of white males. These findings suggest that an examination of gender differences in violent offending, independent of race, will produce incomplete and potentially misleading interpretations. The paper also provides a social structural explanation of the disproportionate involvement of black females (and males) in violent crime.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Publication date: 01 January 1992

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