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Female Copycat Crime: An Exploratory Analysis
Violence and Gender  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-03-12, DOI: 10.1089/vio.2020.0046
Ray Surette

Although much has been written concerning female delinquency and criminality, little has been forwarded about female copycat crime. Utilizing four data sets from surveys collected over the past decade, the characteristics of females who reported involvement in copycat crimes, the crimes they attempted, and how they compared with male copycat offenders are described. Two research questions are considered: “How much does being female predict copycat crime?” and “How do female copycat crime offenders differ from noncopycat females?” Results indicate that females are less likely to have a copycat crime history but there was also evidence of the copycat crime gap between females and males narrowing. In general, copycat criminality was more common in younger and incarcerated females, although playing or not playing video games did not differentiate copycat crime females from noncopycat crime females. The quantity of media consumed also did not predict copycat crime in either gender. A typical copycat female offender committed their crime, often involving a property crime, while a teenager in a spontaneous group act. The relationship between females and criminogenic media is likely different compared with that of males, and the debunking of crime media content for younger females needs to be pursued.