Testing the relative importance of contemporaneous offenses: The impacts of fear of sexual assault versus fear of physical harm among men and women

Carrie L. Cook, Kathleen A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current study tests the shadow of sexual assault hypothesis and extends recent research by examining whether the fear of physical harm or the fear of sexual assault has a greater impact on fear of other crimes. Methods: To determine the unique interaction between gender and fear, we conduct separate analyses among men and women. Results: While fear of physical harm and fear of sexual intrusion are both predictive of fear of home invasion, robbery, and murder, fear of physical harm has a significantly greater impact across all types of fear (e.g., home invasion, robbery, murder). Conclusions: Despite previous empirical evidence that suggests fear operates differently among men and women, our findings suggest that fear of physical harm - rather than fear of sexual intrusion - is a more robust predictor of fear of crime among both men . and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-151
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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