Explaining the Gender Gap in Juvenile Shoplifting. A Power-Control Theoretical Analysis.

Helmut Hirtenlehner, Brenda Blackwell, Heinz Leitgöb, Johann Bacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Shoplifting is one of the crimes with the smallest gender gap among all offense types. Contrary to common stereotypes, males commit shoplifting more frequently than females. Apart from the insight that the share of female offenders is highest for crimes that are well compatible with the prevailing female role, the roots of the gendered distribution of shoplifting have not been extensively studied. Its focus on gender roles and gendered socialization processes makes power-control theory an obvious explanatory approach, yet it has never specifically been utilized to examine the gender gap in shoplifting. This study attempts to close this research gap. Based on a large-scale student survey from Austria, this study scrutinizes the theory's potential to account for the gender divide in juvenile shoplifting. Results provide somewhat more support for the control and risk-related parts of the theory than for its power component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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