SAGE Journal Articles

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Lane, J., & Fox, K. A. (2013). Fear of property, violent, and gang crime: Examining the shadow of sexual assault thesis among male and female offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(5)472–496.

The current study examines the impact of perceived risk and fear of sexual assault on male and female offenders’ fear of (a) property crime, (b) violent crime, and (c) gang crime. Results indicate that perceived risk of victimization and fear of sexual assault are significantly associated with fear of property, violent, and gang crime among the full sample and among both men and women. Confirming results of prior research, perceived risk of victimization is a stronger predictor of property, violent, and gang fear among men. Fear of sexual assault emerged as a stronger predictor of fear of property, violent, and gang crime among women, confirming Ferraro’s shadow of sexual assault thesis.

Nuñez, N., Myers, B., Wilkowski, B. M., & Schweitzer, K. (2017). The impact of angry versus sad victim impact statements on mock jurors’ sentencing decisions in a capital trial. Criminal Justice & Behavior44, 862–886.

The present study tested the effects of angry and sad victim impact statements (VIS) on jury eligible participants’ decisions. Death qualified participants (N = 581) watched the penalty phase of a capital trial that varied the presence and emotional content of the VIS (angry, sad, or no VIS) along with the strength of mitigating evidence (weak or strong). Results revealed that Angry VIS led to an increase in death sentences, whereas Sad VIS did not. Furthermore, participants who reported becoming angry during the trial were more likely to render a death sentence, but participants who became sad during the trial were not. No interaction was found between VIS and strength of mitigating evidence, but participants exposed to the angry VIS did rate the mitigating evidence as less important to their decisions. The results indicate that VIS are not inherently biasing, nor are all emotions equally impactful on sentencing decisions.

Steffensmeier, D., Zhong, H., Ackerman, J., Schwartz, J., & Agha, S. (2006). Gender gap trends for violent crimes, 1980 to 2003: A UCR–NCVS comparison. Feminist Criminology, 1(1), 72–98.

The authors examine 1980 to 2003 trends in female-to-male interpersonal violence reported in Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) arrest statistics and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) victimization data. Augmented Dickey-Fuller time-series techniques and intuitive plot displays show much overlap yet differences in each source’s portrayal of trends in female violence levels and the gender gap. Both sources show little or no change in the gender gap for homicide and rape/sexual assault, whereas UCR police counts show a sharp rise in female-to-male arrests for criminal assault during the past one to two decades--but that rise is not borne out in NCVS counts. Net-widening policy shifts have apparently escalated the arrest proneness of females for “criminal assault” (e.g., policing physical attacks/threats of marginal seriousness that women in relative terms are more likely to commit); rather than women having become any more violent, official data increasingly mask differences in violent offending by men and women.

Decker S. H., Katz C. M., & Webb V. J. (2008). Understanding the black box of gang organization: Implications for involvement in violent crime, drug sales, and violent victimization. Crime & Delinquency54, 153–172.

This article examines the influence of gang organization on several behavioral measures. Using interview data from juvenile detention facilities in three Arizona sites, this article examines the relationship between gang organizational structure and involvement in violent crime, drug sales, victimization, and arrest. The gang literature suggests that gangs are not very well organized. However, the findings from the current research suggest that even low levels of gang organization are important for their influence on behavior. Indeed, even incremental increases in gang organization are related to increased involvement in offending and victimization.