Poverty, Inequality, and Theories of Forcible Rape
Crime and Delinquency, 31: 293 305
12 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2014
Date Written: April 1, 1985
This study provides an empirical assessment of theories of rape that suggest that conditions of poverty and inequality account for differences in rates of rape among communities in the United States. To compensate for problems of statistical unreliability, 1980 data for 88 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) with extremely high or low rates of rape are analyzed. Poverty, but not racial economic inequality, is found to partially account for differences in these communities. However, other demographic factors, most notably the percentage of the community divorced or separated, are found to be even more viable predictors of high rape rates.
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