Prior research confirms that the number of men in a population is associated with elevated levels of crime. The connection between higher numbers of males relative to females and crime is far less studied in larger aggregate populations, and the nature of the relationship is less clear. This study seeks to answer three questions: are unbalanced sex ratios associated with crime at the state level? At what level does the skew begin to matter? How quickly is the impact observed? These questions are examined through analysis of a novel longitudinal dataset of social characteristics and crime indicators for frontier American states between 1850 and 1920. Fixed effects longitudinal analysis reveals a positive association at the state level between skewed sex ratios - towards both men and women - and crime. This study concludes that any deviation from an equal sex ratio is associated with higher levels in crime, and this impact was demonstrated to occur within a short time frame.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stearmer, Steven Matthew, "The Sex Ratio Tipping Point: An Exploration of Crime during Frontier America" (2011). All Theses and Dissertations. 2833.
sex ratio, unbalanced sex ratio, crime, frontier America