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Title: The norm that women fear crime and its implications for social control
Author: Lynch , Amy-Jo Louise
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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Feminist scholars have suggested that women's subordinate position in society is entrenched by their fear of crime. Consistent with their analysis, research findings show that women experience more fear of crime than men, largely stemming from the fear of rape. Further, women's experience of fear has been shown to have socialpsychological consequences that debilitate women and limit their freedom. The present thesis introduces a new model of social control that builds on this research. According to this model, fear of crime controls women not j ust because of its consequences as a lived experience, but also because of its role as a judgement norm within a system of secondary social control. Specifically, women are expected to be fearful, and their thoughts, emotions and actions are judged accordingly. This thesis ____ p.l~sents five experiments that test aspects of this model. Experiments 1 and 2 establish that women's thoughts, feelings and actions, but not men's, are evaluated more favourably when they appear fearful rather than fearless, and explore moderators and mediators of this novel effect. Experiment 3 establishes that the effect is not driven by concerns with fearful emotions per se but with precautionary behaviour. Experiment 4 shows that altruistic fear for heterosexual partners is gender-typed and explores whether judgement norms also surround this fear on behalf of one's partner. Experiment 5 explores the intended effects of exposure to a police anti-rape campaign, but also examines whether the campaign may have unintended effects associated with the role of rape in primary and secondary mechanisms of social control. The present results offer partial support for the proposed model of secondary social control. Quali fications to the model and its implications for research and practice are discussed. vii
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available