Establishing the gender gap in illegal drug sales and drug sale earnings : a quantitative assessment using the National Incident-based Reporting System (NIBRS).
- McCarthy, Daniel
- [University Park, Pennsylvania] : Pennsylvania State University, 2016.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Steffensmeier, Darrell J., 1942-
- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- The central aim of this thesis was to clarify the gender gap in illegal drug sales and drug sale earnings using a unique and underutilized dataset (National Incident-Based Reporting System, or NIBRS). The motivation for this study stems from a debate among scholars regarding the extent of female involvement in drug selling and the gender gap in drug sale earnings. One view is that gender differences in participation and earnings are somewhat small. This view emerged shortly after the introduction of crack-cocaine to North American drug markets in the mid-1980s, and differs from the one traditionally held by drug crime scholars. The traditional (and alternative) view is that the gender gap in drug sale participation and earnings has been and continues to remain large, and that drug markets remain heavily dominated by males. Despite considerable interest in this topic, important gaps the literature remain and the debate has yet to be resolved. In this thesis, I aimed to go beyond prior literature to establish a more complete picture of a) the gender gap in drug sales (overall and by drug type); b) the gender gap in illegal earnings from drug sales (overall and by drug type); and c) the gendered organization of drug sales (e.g., solo or co-offense, same-sex or mixed-sex). Steffensmeiers (1983) institutionalized sexism framework, which posits that several interrelated forces (i.e., sex-typing, homosocial reproduction, and task environment of crime) exist to both exclude and marginalize women in profit-oriented crime groups, served as the theoretical justification for this thesis. Data were derived from NIBRS incident-level extract files for the years 2010-2012, and were downloaded from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). The final study population totaled 56,267 incidents involving drug selling arrests. Key findings from both bivariate analyses and multivariate OLS regression models provided support for Steffensmeiers (1983) framework, as well as the traditional view regarding womens involvement in the drug economy. First, I found a large gender gap in drug sale participation (overall and by drug type). Second, I found the size of the gender gap to vary by type of drug (i.e., marijuana, cocaine, crack, and heroin). Notably, gender differences were smaller for crack and heroin than marijuana and cocaine. Third, there is a large gender gap in illegal earnings from drug sales in both solo and co-offending incidents. Fourth, mixed-gender co-offending groups are found to earn more than all-male groups, net of key demographic and structural controls. Implications of this thesis are several. First, findings contribute to four important strands of criminological research, namely: a) gender and crime literature; b) the literature on gender and drug crime; c) institutionalized sexism literature; and d) the growing body of literature on illegal earnings. Second, this study offers researchers and policymakers a fresh, quantitative view into the social organization of illicit drug markets. Third, it provides a strong foundation for scholars interested in investigating race and race by gender differences (e.g., white vs. black) in drug selling and drug sale earnings, and how these vary by drug type and type of organization. Fourth, this study has helped establish NIBRS as an important dataset for a) scholars and policymakers interested in drug related issues; and b) scholars interested in exploring how institutionalized sexism varies across type of crime activity.
- Dissertation Note:
- M.A. Pennsylvania State University, 2016.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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