chapter  6
27 Pages

Sex Differences and Rational Choice: Traditional Tests and New Directions: Brenda Sims Blackwell and Sarah Eschholz

Concurrent to the development of several variations of the rational choice model, the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s highlighted the role of women in society. Scholars began to focus on differences between men and women in structural opportunities along with sex-role socialization (Connell, 1990; Schur, 1984). Researchers such as Simon (1975) and Adler (1975) brought this line of inquiry to the subject of crime. The fact that females commit fewer criminal acts across time, societies, and age groups is widely acknowledged (Kruttschnitt 1996; Sutherland and Cressey 1978; Canter 1982; Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990; Chesney-Lind and Sheldon 1992). Yet, historically crime studies were conducted solely on male subjects, or merely included sex! as a control variable (Chesney-Lind 1989; Elliott 1988). In other words, researchers were less interested in the question of why women do not commit crime than the question of why men do. Simon and Adler challenged this myopic view as they separately reported that the crime rate for females was increasing at a faster pace than that of their male counterparts in the 1970s.