Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Women's movement and crime

The San Jose paper has this letter:
DA clarifies comments on women and crime

In a discussion of jail statistics at a county board subcommittee meeting, I noted the increased ratio of women to men in jail parallels what is seen in other jurisdictions, and this also parallels the successes of the women's movement (Internal Affairs, Feb. 27).

I should have emphasized at the same time that the women's movement is responsible for substantially reducing our overall crime rate and that females still constitute a relatively small percentage of inmates.

George Kennedy
Santa Clara County District Attorney
San Jose
No doubt some feminists in his office made him write this letter, but how has the women's movement affected our overall crime rate?

Two ways come to mind. Feminism has dramatically increased the divorce rate, as women were encouraged to walk out of marriages and raise children without fathers. Those children frequently grow up to be criminals.

On the other hand, feminism has also radically increased the abortion rate, and there are studies showing a resulting decline in the crime rate. Apparently the women who get abortions are less likely to be good mothers, and many of those kids would have grown up to be criminals.

It is not obvious to me which effect is greater, or whether there are other significant effects as well. What did the DA mean?

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