Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date of Defense

4-22-2010

Graduate Advisor

Kristin Carbone-Lopez, PhD

Committee

Dr. Andres Rengifo

Dr. Richard Rosenfeld

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to examine changes in rape over time in the United States and Europe. Little previous research examines changes in rape trends over time, or compares rape trends across nations. I propose that economic conditions, gender equality, and empowerment of women can explain the changes in rape over time in the United States and Europe. To test this research question, a GLS cross-sectional time-series analysis was conducted of rape rates in the United States and thirteen European nations from 1990 to 2003. Results show that consumer confidence, unemployment, gender development, human development, and gender empowerment indices have significant relationships with rape. The effects of consumer confidence, unemployment, gender development, and human development on rape trends are somewhat sensitive to the inclusion of specific nations in the model. Nonetheless, the results suggest that cross-national research on rape trends is a promising area for future research.

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