Gendered Social Bonds and Gender Ideologies: Understanding the Gender Gap in Delinquency

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Title: Gendered Social Bonds and Gender Ideologies: Understanding the Gender Gap in Delinquency
Author: Cooper, Danielle Jamilla
Advisors: Barbara J. Risman, Committee Member
Stacy De Coster, Committee Chair
Catherine Zimmer, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of the research is to evaluate whether a simple 'add gender and stir' approach with Hirschi's social control theory can help explain gender differences or the gender gap in delinquency. I propose that incorporating traditional gender ideologies into the traditional 'add gender and stir' approach can help extend the theory and lead to a better understanding of the gender gap. Using data from the National Youth Survey, I empirically assess the differences in the levels (means) and the effects that attachment to family, commitment to school and/or a future career, and acceptance of traditional gender ideologies have on delinquency. The findings suggest that although Hirschi's theory offers insight into why males and females engage in delinquent behavior, it does little to explain the gender gap in delinquency. Specifically, having 'stakes in conformity' curbs delinquency among both males and females. However, the data shows that these stakes in conformity do not help understand the gender gap per se. The findings also suggest that the acceptance of traditional gender ideologies play an important part in understanding the gender gap in delinquency because these ideologies promote delinquency among males but control female delinquency. These findings underscore arguments that the 'add gender and stir' approach to understanding the gender gap in delinquency is insufficient. Future research should continue to explore broad gender arguments derived from gender studies.
Date: 2004-12-14
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2621


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