Gender inequality, normative violence, social disorganization and sexual violence against women: A cross-national investigation
The association between sexual violence and gender inequality was examined using sexual offense data from two international data sources: the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS). Sexual violence was operationalized as reported rapes (Interpol data) and sexual offenses (ICVS data). Gender inequality was operationalized using a combination of political, economic, educational and health indicators. Predictor variables in addition to gender inequality included normative violence and social disorganization. Control variables included non-sexual violent offenses; these offenses were often strongly associated with sexual offenses. Regression analyses of cross-panel data found a non-significant positive association between gender inequality and sexual violence for the Interpol data (early and late 1990s). A significant negative relationship was found in the ICVS data for 1992 and 1996, the two years for which all the data were available. Change analyses found a significant negative association between increases in women's status and Interpol rapes. Results are consistent with the so-called traditional feminist hypothesis about gender inequality and rape: increases in women's status are associated with decreases in sexual violence.
0453: Womens studies