Black females and lethal violence: has time changed the circumstances under which they kill?


Journal Article

Increases in lethal violence, the disproportionate representation of blacks as victims and offenders, and the more active participation and redefined roles of women in various aspects of life, makes the study of black female behavior in lethal acts of violence essential and important. The question of whether social changes in American society, specifically the women's rights movement, have impacted the circumstances or situations under which black females murder is examined. Secondary data on 119 black female homicide offenders and survey data on nine additional offenders were gathered through the project, 'Black Homicide and the Urban Environment.' Analysis indicates that the circumstances surrounding the homicide incidents are still congruent with Wolfgang's findings, however, many changes appear to be occurring. It appears that if these changes continue for another decade Wolfgang's theory may no longer serve as an appropriate explanation for black female behavior in acts of lethal violence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McClain, PD

Published Date

  • January 1, 1982

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 13 - 25

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-2228

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2190/28p5-n05b-y57f-kn47

Citation Source

  • Scopus