Feminists have long argued that structural inequality between men and women influences the prevalence of rape. The patriarchal maintenance hypothesis predicts that gender inequality increases rape, while gender equality ameliorates rape (Whaley and Messner 2002). Alternatively, the backlash hypothesis predicts that gender equality exacerbates the rape problem (Russell 1975; Williams and Holmes 1981). To date, no study has explored this relationship with respect to race. In the present study, we use a cross-sectional design with racially disaggregated census and crime data in order to assess the differences among White and Black women in terms of their status along educational, employment, income, and occupational dimensions, and their risk of victimization. The findings indicate that the relationship between equality and rape is masked in the model that includes all women, but becomes apparent in the race specific models.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bailey, William C. (1999). The socioeconomic status of women and patterns of forcible rape for major U.S. cities. Sociological Focus 32, 43–63.
Baron, Larry S. and Straus, Murray A. (1984). Sexual stratification, pornography, and rape in the United States. In Neil M. Malamuth and E. Donnerstein (eds.), Pornography and Sexual Aggression San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 185–209.
Baron, Larry S. and Straus, Murray A. (1987). Four theories of rape: A macrosociological analysis. Social Problems 34, 467–489.
Belsley, David A., Kuh, Edwin and Welsch, Roy E. (1980). Regression Diagnostics: Identifying Influential Data and Sources of Collinearity. New York: Wiley.
Blau, Judith and Blau, Peter (1982). The cost of inequality: Metropolitan structure and violent crime. American Sociological Review 47, 114–129.
Blau, Peter and Golden, Reid (1986), Metropolitan structure and criminal violence. The Sociological Quarterly 27, 15–26.
Blau, Peter and Schwartz, Joseph (1984). Crosscutting Social Circles: Testing a Macrostructural Theory of Inter Group Relations. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
Bonger, Willem (1916). Criminality and Economic Conditions. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company.
Brownmiller, Susan (1975). Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Bureau of the Census (1994). 1990 Census of Population: Social and Economic Characteristics. Washington, D.C.: U.S.Government Printing Office.
Bureau of the Census (1993) County and City Data Book-1990. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Daly, Kathleen and Tonry, Michael (1997). Gender, race, and sentencing. Crime and Justice 22, 210–252.
Davis, Angela (1975). JoAnn Little: The Dialectics of Rape. Ms. 3, 106–108.
Ellis, Lee and (1983). The feminist explanation for rape: An empirical test. The Journal of Sex Research 19, 74–93.
Faludi, Susan (1991). Backlash: The, Undeclared War Against American Women. New York: Crown.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (1990). Crime in the United States-1989. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (1991). Crime in the United States-1990 Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (1992). Crime in the United States-1991. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Fowles, Richard and Merva, Mary (1996). Wage inequality and criminal activity: An extreme bounds analysis for the United States, 1975-1990. Criminology 34, l63–182.
Gottfredson, Michael and Michael J. Hindelang (1979). A study of the behavior of law. American Sociological Review 44, 3–18.
Gove, Walter R., Michael Hughes and Michael Geerken (1985). Are uniform crime reports a valid indicator of the index crimes? An affirmative answer with minor qualifications. Criminology 23, 451–491.
Greene, W.H. (1993). Econometric Analysis. New York: MacMillan.
Griffin, Susan (1971). Rape, the all-American crime. Ramparts 10, 26–35.
Harer, Miles D. and Steffensmeir Darrell (1992). The differing effects of economic inequality on black and white rates of violence. Social Forces 70, 1035–1054.
Hindelang, Michael J. (1974). The uniform crime reports revisited. Journal of Criminal Justice 2, 1–17.
Huey, Jacklyn and Lynch, Michael, J. (1996). The image of black women in criminology: Historical stereotypes as theoretical foundation. In Michael J. Lynch and E. Britt Patterson (eds.), Justice Without Prejudice: Race and Criminal Justice in America. Guilderland, NY: Harrow and Heston, pp. 72–88.
Johnson, Kim and Lee, Mi Young (2000). Effects of clothing and behavior on perceptions concerning an alleged date rape. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 28, 331–356.
Kovandzic, Tomislav V., Lynne M. Vieraitis and Mark R. Yeisley. (1998). The structural covariates of urban homicide: Reassessing the impact of income inequality and poverty in the post-Reagan era. Criminology 36, 569–599.
LaFree, Gary ( 1998). Losing Legitimacy. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Land, Kenneth C., McCall, Patricia L., and Cohen, Lawrence E. (1990). Structural covariates of homicide rates: Are there any invariances across time and social space? American Journal of Sociology 95, 922–963.
Linsky, Arnold, Bachman, Ronet and Straus, Murray (1995). Stress, Culture & Aggression. Yale University Press: New Haven & London.
Lizotte, AlanJournal of Social Issues 37, 5–27.
Schwendinger, Julia and Schwendinger, Herman (1983). Rape and Inequality. Sage Publications: Beverly Hills.
Shaw, Clifford and McKay, Henry (1942). Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). Criminal Victimization in United States, 1999 Statistical Tables. National Crime Victimization Survey, NCJ 184938.
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). Violent Victimization and Race 1993-1998. National Crime Victimization Survey, NCJ 176354.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1988). Supplements to the monthly vital statistics report: Advanced reports, 1988.
Vieraitis, Lynne M. and Williams, Marian R. (2002). Assessing the impact of gender inequality on female homicide victimization across U.S. cities: A racially disaggregated analysis. Violence Against Women 8, 35–63.
Whaley, Rachel Bridges (2001). The paradoxical relationship between gender inequality and rape: Toward a refined theory. Gender & Society 15, 531–555.
Whaley, Rachel Bridges and Steven F. Messner (2002). Gender equality and gendered homicides. Homicide Studies 6, 188–210.
Williams, J.E. and Holmes, K.A. (1981). The Second Assault: Rape and Public Attitudes. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
About this article
Cite this article
Eschholz, S., Vieraitis, L.M. Race-Specific Gender Equality and Rape: A Further Test of Feminist Hypotheses. Critical Criminology 12, 195–219 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CRIT.0000040257.84183.e5
- White Woman
- Black Woman
- Gender Equality
- Gender Inequality
- Gini Index