Original Article

Gender Issues

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 1-24

First online:

Misogyny: It’s Still the Law—An Empirical Assessment of the Missouri Juvenile Court System’s Processing of Rape and Robbery Offenders

  • M. Dyan McGuireAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Saint Louis University Email author 
  • , Steve DonnerAffiliated withSaint Louis University
  • , Elizabeth CallahanAffiliated withSaint Louis UniversityMissouri Attorney General’s Office

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Patriarchal societies have long used their legal systems as a vehicle of oppression. This article examines the extent to which bias against women can still be discerned in the content of the criminal law by comparing and contrasting Missouri’s forcible rape and robbery in the first degree statutes. The study then analyzes the application of these statutes by examining all of the forcible rape and robbery in the first degree cases processed by Missouri’s juvenile court system between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2004 (N = 617). The results of these analyses suggest that Missouri’s robbery statute is more protective of victims than is its rape statute. They also indicate that at least among juveniles, robbery offenders are sanctioned more severely than rape offenders in terms of detention, informal adjustment and adjudication.


Gender Rape Robbery Courts Criminal law