Fear of Crime: Gender Differences in New Zealand
This thesis centres around the investigation of gender differences in fear of crime. International studies have identified that the fear of crime presents a substantially greater problem for women when compared to men. No New Zealand empirical studies have focused their investigation on gender differences in fear of crime. This thesis targets this research gap, using descriptive statistics, ordinary least squares (OLS) and ordered probit modelling, and Blinder-Oaxaca modelling to analyse gender differences in fear of crime. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests are initially utilised to identify trends in fear of crime and relevant covariates. Subsequently, OLS and ordered probit models are estimated for males and females for 2014 and 2018. This allows for the analysis to focus on gender differences and intertemporal differences. Furthermore, Blinder-Oaxaca modelling is utilised to determine whether characteristics or coefficient effects drive the gender gap in fear of crime. Results will further our understanding of whether the fear of crime gap is driven by the dispersion of covariates between males and females or the efficiency at which males and females can convert changes of characteristics into reductions in fear of crime. OLS results show that variables which are positively correlated with fear of crime include: migrant status, education, general trust, health, discriminatory sentiment, having a dependent child, material well-being, feelings of loneliness, and feelings of anxiety. In contrast, variables negatively correlated with fear of crime include: neighbourhood incivilities and being married. Positive results indicate that an increase in the independent variable will ultimately result in ‘better’ fear of crime scores. Results from the Blinder-Oaxaca model indicate that the fear of crime gap that exists between males and females is primarily due to the coefficient effect.