This study presents an analysis of inter-district variations in murder rates in India in 1981. Three significant patterns emerge. First, murder rates in India bear no significant relation with urbanization or poverty. Second, there is a negative association between literacy and criminal violence. Third, murder rates in India are highly correlated with the female-male ratio in the population: districts with higher female-male ratios have lower murder rates. Alternative hypotheses about the causal relationships underlying this connection between sex ratios and murder rates are scrutinized. One plausible explanation is that low female-male ratios and high murder rates are joint symptoms of a patriarchal environment. This study also suggests that gender relations, in general, have a crucial bearing on criminal violence.
|Last updated April 23, 2001||
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