Sex Disparities in Arrest Outcomes for Domestic Violence

26 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1559 (2011)

20 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2015

See all articles by Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton

University of Surrey School of Law

Meredith Worthen

University of Oklahoma

Date Written: March 2, 2011

Abstract

Domestic violence arrests have been historically focused on protecting women and children from abusive men. Arrest patterns continue to reflect this bias with more men arrested for domestic violence compared to women. Such potential gender variations in arrest patterns pave the way to the investigation of disparities by sex of the offender in domestic violence arrests. This study utilizes data from a quantitative dataset that includes responses by police officers who completed a specially mandated checklist after responding to a domestic dispute. The results showed that while females are arrested quite often in domestic disputes, there remains a significant difference in the arrest outcome whereby male suspects were more likely to be arrested than female suspects. Regression models further indicated differences based on sex and certain predictors of arrest, which supported sex-based rationales in arrests for domestic violence.

Keywords: arrest, domestic violence, assault, policing

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Melissa and Worthen, Meredith, Sex Disparities in Arrest Outcomes for Domestic Violence (March 2, 2011). 26 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1559 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2654951

Melissa Hamilton (Contact Author)

University of Surrey School of Law ( email )

United Kingdom

Meredith Worthen

University of Oklahoma ( email )

307 W Brooks
Norman, OK 73019
United States

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