Race-Specific Gender Equality and Rape: A Further Test of Feminist Hypotheses

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Abstract

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.

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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

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Keywords

  • White Woman
  • Black Woman
  • Gender Equality
  • Gender Inequality
  • Gini Index