Sex Ratio Imbalances and Crime Rates

This paper is part of a technical paper series covering interconnections between sex ratio and marriage squeeze; class and education; and crime rates
This paper analyzes the effect of adult sex ratio on violent crimes and crimes against women for 18 Indian states in the time period 1995–2014. Contrary to existing literature and speculation, we obtain a negative relationship between sex ratio and crime rates for both violent crimes and crimes against women, i.e, as the sex ratio rises to become more skewed in the favour of males, crime rates fall. A strong positive relationship is seen between crimes against women and the gap between male and female years of education. Besides the regression analysis, a state level rank analysis of crimes and crime trends is also carried out. This analysis highlights the very specific nature of crimes and the very weak, and dual, relationship that crimes have with the adult sex ratio. Some states have excess adult males, and a low crime rate; others have deficit adult males and a low crime rate. The strongest support is obtained for the hypothesis that crime rates are best explained by factors other than the sex ratio. The theory of more men, more violence does not seem to hold, at least for India between 1995 and 2014.
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