Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 36 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Steven F Messner

Committee Members

Scott South, Katherine Trent


Women, Sex ratio, Sex discrimination against women, Crime

Subject Categories

Criminology | Sociology


The relationship between the sex ratio and crime is underdeveloped in the criminological literature, particularly regarding the victimization of women. Much of the existing work draws on theorizing by Guttentag and Secord (1983) on the interpersonal dynamics related to dyadic power. In this line of research, the characteristics of structural power are largely taken for granted. Drawing on literature about gender inequality and women's victimization, this study recasts Guttentag and Secord's notion of structural power as a continuous measure of gender equality. I examine the effect of the sex ratio on women's victimization, and evaluate if that effect is contingent on the levels of gender equality. I theorize and evaluate the relationships between these constructs cross-nationally, finding little support for a moderating effect of gender equality. Directions for further research and theorizing are discussed.

Included in

Criminology Commons