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Fear of Crime and Criminal Victimization: Gender-Based Contrasts

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2006
17 pages
This study of perceptions of safety and the fear of personal and property victimization among male and female respondents focused on the link between demographic characteristics, fear facilitators, fear inhibitors, neighborhood context, and crime-related fear.
On measures of fear of personal crime victimization and perceived safety, female respondents were significantly more fearful than males; however, male respondents reported a higher fear of property victimization, although the difference was not statistically significant. Overall, respondents who felt their neighborhood was a good place to live also reported that they felt safe in their neighborhood; this effect was strong for both men and women. Overall, the findings suggest that fear of crime and feeling safe among both women and men might be more complex than is commonly believed. The overall fear reported by the respondents, particularly for the personal and property victimization measures, was moderate to low. Results from the analysis of the male subgroup indicated that older and non-White men were less likely to perceive being safe in their neighborhood. Education was the only significant distinguishing factor in the female subgroup; women with post-high school educations felt less safe. Respondents' perceptions of neighborhood disorder and major crime were the only statistically significant fear facilitators. Although a number of inhibitors were found to be significant predictors of perceived safety, none varied significantly by gender. Study data were obtained from a larger research project that examined attitudes toward crime, public safety, and the police in a midwestern community located in a metropolitan area of over 300,000 residents. Structured telephone interviews were conducted with 2,058 residents. Residential telephone numbers were stratified for random selection based on the city's 18 patrol beats. At least 100 residents over 18 years old were interviewed within each patrol beat. 6 tables, 9 notes, and 88 references

Date Published: May 1, 2006