2 Pages

Antisociality and Dangerousness in Women before and after the Women's Movement

WithAlfred Β. Heilbrun, David M. Gottfried

Antisociality in women proved to be a significant predictor of more dangerous criminal behavior prior to the surge of the women's movement in the early 1970s. The erosion of traditional sex-role commitment could provide one explanation of dangerous behavior in contemporary women, since feminine constraints upon physical aggression would be expected to decrease. During the prefeminist period, the 51 high-antisocial women did commit more dangerous crimes than the 59 low-antisocial women. Feminism, with its emphasis upon the rejection of traditional feminine values, seems to offer a new explanation of dangerous behavior in women to the extent that prior role constraints upon physical aggression are lessened. More antisocial women perpetrated more dangerous crimes than less antisocial women before the women's movement took a firm hold, but by 1980-1985 there was no difference between them.