Gender Equality and Women’s Absolute Status: A Test of the Feminist Models of Rape
Department or Administrative Unit
Law and Justice
Feminist theory predicts both a positive and negative relationship between gender equality and rape rates. Although liberal and radical feminist theory predicts that gender equality should ameliorate rape victimization, radical feminist theorists have argued that gender equality may increase rape in the form of male backlash. Alternatively, Marxist criminologists focus on women’s absolute socioeconomic status rather than gender equality as a predictor of rape rates, whereas socialist feminists combine both radical and Marxist perspectives. This study uses factor analysis to overcome multicollinearity limitations of past studies while exploring the relationship between women’s absolute and relative socioeconomic status on rape rates in major U.S. cities using 2000 census data. The findings indicate support for both the Marxist and radical feminist explanations of rape but no support for the ameliorative hypothesis. These findings support a more inclusive socialist feminist theory that takes both Marxist and radical feminist hypotheses into account.
Martin, K., Vieraitis, L. M., & Britto, S. (2006). Gender Equality and Women’s Absolute Status. Violence Against Women, 12(4), 321–339. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801206286311
Violence Against Women
© 2006 Sage Publications