Do countries with fewer males have more violent crime?

Violent crimes (murders, rapes, and assaults) are substantially higher in countries with a relative scarcity of men according to research using INTERPOL data [Barber, 2000a]. This is a paradox given that males are more criminally violent and likely reflects increased direct mating competition. The present research sought to confirm and extend Barber’s [2000a] finding, using murder data from the United Nations and homicides from World Health Organization that are of higher quality than the INTERPOL data, and using more rigorous controls. In addition to level of economic development, control variables included, income inequality, urbanization, population density, the number of police, and whether the country was a major center of illegal drug trafficking. Regression analyses with all controls found that killings in both data sets increased with declines in the male proportion of the population. The findings are discussed in terms of direct reproductive competition and alternative explanations are considered.

Source: “Countries with fewer males have more violent crime: marriage markets and mating aggression” from Aggressive Behavior, Volume 35 Issue 1, Pages 49 – 56

Maybe it’s because fewer males means fewer young married males?

If marriage markets were only subject to the influences of numerical supply and demand, one would expect that the scarcer sex in a population would have a greater proportion married. Previous research has demonstrated that when males are scarce, they are actually less likely to be married, presumably because their market scarcity enhances their short term mating success and decreases incentives for commitment. However, males in modern societies appear to shift from mating effort to parental investment across the life course. Also, women preferentially value indicators of phenotypic quality for short term relationships, and these signals may be increasingly difficult to display with progressive physiological senescence. We predicted that men in low sex ratio populations would use market scarcity to their advantage for mating effort when young, but would shift towards commitment strategies when older. Data from the 50 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the USA confirmed that a female biased sex ratio was associated with a lower proportion of men married between ages 20 and 29, but a higher proportion of men married between ages 35 and 74.

Source:”Male Scarcity is Differentially Related to Male Marital Likelihood across the Life Course” from Evolutionary Psychology, 2009. 7(2): 280-287

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