CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Report: Male Surplus Causes Crime

From  "The process of active sex selection in many developing nations creates social tensions which contribute to the rise of organised crime and terrorism, it has been claimed.  A report published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences seeks to establish a link between demographic trends and crime levels, based on the premise that single men without the calming influence of a responsibility to wife and children are more likely to turn to crime.  Dr Therese Hesketh of the UCL Institute of Child Health and Dr Zhu Wei Xing from the Zhejiang Normal University in China argue that these circumstances already exist in some developing countries.  With male births still preferred in many countries, the disparity between high numbers of female abortions and the rarity of male abortions creates a demographic imbalance which leaves not enough women for the remaining men.  As a result the percentage of females who marry remains very high but the proportion of single men grows and grows to between 12 and 15 per cent – most of whom will be "rural peasants of low socioeconomic class with limited education".  "This trend could lead to increased levels of antisocial behaviour and violence, as gender is a well-established correlate of crime, and especially violent crime," the report warns.  "Gender-related violent crime is consistent across cultures. Furthermore, when single young men congregate, the potential for more organised aggression is likely to increase substantially, and this has worrying implications for organised crime and terrorism."  rest of article...

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