A Canadian Study on the Fear of Crime Models Across Gender
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Over the past several decades, crime rates have dropped worldwide. However, in contrast to the decreasing real crime rates, people’s fear of crime has hardly changed over the years. The discrepancy between the real crime rates and people’s fear of crime has aroused the strong interest of researchers. Three theoretical models have been used to explain people’s fear of crime, which are the vulnerability model, the integration model, and the disorder model. Although the mainstream studies have introduced gender as one predictor of fear, the fear models and theories are predominately male-centred and lack the female perspective. The tendency to marginalize the female gaze on fear of crime models means there is a gap in information on the female perspective in this context. This study aims to evaluate the mainstream perspectives of the fear of crime through theoretical models separating male and female samples to identify which model and what predictors of fear can better indicate the variance across genders. To examine the effectiveness of fear of crime models in different gender groups, a quantitative method is adopted. I used the 2014 Canadian General Social Survey – Victimization (GSS) as my data source and three ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression models were constructed and analyzed by STATA. The results showed that the vulnerability model displayed the most variance based on gender, while the disorder model showed the least gender variance. Moreover, in the vulnerability model, Aboriginal status, income, and previous victimization displayed a significant gender gap. While in the social integration model, the predictor ‘know each other,’ which indicated an individual's level of social integration by how many people does he or she know in the neighbourhood, showed a significant gender difference on fear level; however, it was a less effective predictor than the sense of belonging as a predictor in both gender groups. In the disorder model, strangers ‘hanging around’ in the surroundings reached a significant level of gender variance. The results suggest that the research method of studying fear of crime in a whole population concealed the gender differences. Men and women are physically, psychologically, and socially different, so it is necessary to use a gender-based view to re-examine the patriarchal tradition in the fear of crime field. This is necessary in order to uncover women's voices to improve gender equality, implement policies to protect women and other vulnerable populations from crime, and properly educate those in criminological studies on fear of crime.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeHansen, John; Li, Longhai; Dickinson, Harley
Copyright DateAugust 2021
Fear of Crime