More men inevitably means more testosterone-fuelled violence, right? Wrong, according to a comprehensive analysis exploring how a surplus of men or women affect crime rates across the US.
In areas where men outnumber women, there were lower rates of murders and assaults as well as fewer sex-related crimes, such as rapes, sex offences and prostitution. Conversely, higher rates of these crimes occurred in areas where there were more women than men.
Ryan Schacht of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and his colleagues analysed sex ratio data from all 3082 US counties, provided by the US Census Bureau in 2010. They compared this with crime data for the same year, issued by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. They only included information about women and men of reproductive age.
For all five types of offence analysed, rising proportions of men in a county correlated with fewer crimes– even when accounting for other potential contributing factors such as poverty. The results suggest that current policies aimed at defusing violence and crime by reducing the amount of men in male-dominated areas may backfire.
View the full article, and watch the youtube video covering the topic below! Check out the press release on his research, as well as his interview in BBC news. (Refer to 34:23 for Ryan's portion of the interview).