Using data elicited from a random sample of 1435 adults residing in Lviv, Ukraine, and Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, this study tests rational choice theory (RCT) across gender groups. It seeks to determine whether men and women have different perceptions of sanction risk and crime rewards, whether the formation of these perceptions is gender-specific, and whether RCT predicts criminal behavior equally for men and women. Results suggest that, for both genders, perceptions of crime rewards appear more important than sanction threats. Furthermore, perceived rewards of crime, but not sanction threats, partially explain associations between offending and personal and vicarious experiences with crime. Finally, the performance of RCT is consistent, but not identical, in explaining crime by men and women. The gender gap in offending appears to reflect differences between men and women in levels of perceived rewards, most likely acquired through direct and vicarious experiences with crime as well as through gender-variant emotional bonds.
- utilitarian calculus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine