Gender and Crime Motor Vehicle Theft

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In the United States it is very clear that when it comes to motor vehicle theft statistically males are way more likely to commit this crime over women. A gender difference is very evident when looking at this topic. This data is important because it shows that there is something very different between men and women when it comes to different types of crime. Usually men are committing more violent crimes then women just because it’s not in a females nature to be as aggressive which makes sense. When it comes to larceny and theft many of times females are the ones who are committing these crimes most often. Assuming the offender is not car jacking the motor vehicle from someone the event in itself is going to be fairly low risk for confrontation with the target. Because of this it really doesn’t explain why females would not be more involved with motor vehicle theft. When analyzing data from 2003, 2006, and 2009 about sex differences in motor vehicle theft the gender gap is extremely visible.

When researching the gender gap between male and female arrest statistics for motor vehicle theft the significantly larger number for males over females is a good indicator that there is some factor that makes females less likely to commit motor vehicle theft. In research done in the past it’s been shown that statistically males commit motor vehicle theft more then females. An example of this is research done by O’Brien (1995). He examined the difference in these crime trends along with others crimes and tried to understand what this unknown factor was that caused this significant difference. While doing this experiment at first O’Brien believed that there could be convergence and that if both trends are continuing in the same direction that they would not necessarily cross over, but there could be factors that make this more or less likely to occur. O’Brien looked at a hypothesis that had been made prior to his experiment back by Rita Simon. Her hypothesis was that increased occupational and economic opportunities, changes in role expectations, and increased self confidence for women seemed to lessen the likelihood that they will feel victimized, dependent, and oppressed. As a result of this she believed this would diminishment such feelings, therefore they would be less likely offend O’Brien (1995). In O’Brien’s experiment he looked at multiple crimes other then motor vehicle theft. In his data he saw that motor vehicle theft, robbery, and larceny arrest rates between males and females seemed to be converging while homicide rates with diverging. This is most likely because when males kill people they are more likely to kill another male while females are more likely to kill a male as a crime of passion O’Brian (1995). The statistics he examined were very similar ratio wise to the statistics I examined. The numbers were different but the male to female gender gap stayed pretty consistent. This research shows something in wider range other then just motor vehicle theft because it shows that there are specific factors that may apply to one sex and not that other that makes them more or less likely to commit these kinds of property crimes.

My paper examines the significantly large gender gap between male and female arrest rates for motor vehicle theft. Through my secondary data analysis of male and female motor vehicle theft arrests rates form 2003, 2006, and 2009 I will show that males have constantly represented around 80%-85% of all motor vehicle theft arrests. DATA & METHODS

The data that I analyzed had been previously compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and then given to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to be published. In March of 2012 I accessed this previously compiled data through the online BJS Arrest Data Analysis Tool. In this research the key variables were male and female. The independent variable I examined was sex, which is defined as male or female. The...
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