Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Christine S. Sellers, Ph.D.


Gender, Delinquency, Neighborhood characteristics, Feminism, Family structure


The gender difference in crime is indisputable. In an attempt to explain gender differences in adolescents' involvement in crime, secondary data analysis of middle and high school students and their neighborhoods will be examined. Feminists have identified the concept of patriarchy as the root of gender differences in all behavior and particularly in criminal behavior. Hagan's Power-Control Theory incorporates the concept of patriarchy through measures within home to examine how differences in occupational authority between parents affects the gender difference in delinquency through differential controls placed on sons and daughters. However, it has been suggested that the measure of patriarchy be extended into the public sphere (Walby, 1990). Specifically, this study compares a traditional private patriarchy model to a public patriarchy model in order to determine which approach better explains the gender gap in crime. Patterns of findings were not substantively different between private and public patriarchy models; however, a number of theoretical implications point to the fact that alternate measures of patriarchy could lend support for power-control theory that it currently lacks.