Intimate partner homicide (IPH) represents between 10% and 16% of all homicides (Catalano, Smith, Snyder, & Rand, 2009; Cooper & Smith, 2011; Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011; Gruenewald & Pridemore, 2009). Yet, research on gender-specific IPH offending is lacking at the individual offense level, especially when a woman is the offender. The majority of the research assessing gender-specific IPH offending examines motivations, as well as situational and structural variables. For instance, motivations may include self-defense or jealousy and situational variables may include employment status or past criminal histories. Structural variables include macro-level concepts such as poverty, education, or income. The purpose of this study is to examine victim, offender, and case level factors of gender-specific IPH offending to help fill a gap in the literature regarding women offenders at a more individual level. This study uses data from the Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) for the years 2010 through 2014, which is specific to homicide, includes added information on homicide incidents, and incorporates 85% to 90% of all homicides reported in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) (US Department of Justice, 2014). Using feminist conflict theory, I explored the weapons used, relationship status, and demographic data on victims and offenders. The results indicate that many of the offense level factors analyzed are significant in predicting the odds that a woman is the offender in an IPH incident. For instance, a dating relationship and the use of a knife increased the odds of a women being an IPH offender. Future research would benefit from being able to make clearer distinctions between firearm types (handgun versus long gun) and a divorced versus a separated relationship. Additionally, having data available about cohabitation would be important for understanding IPH incidents that occur when a couple lives together, thus, when they are more invested than when dating, but not as much as when legally married.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Szalewski, Alec, "Female Offenders of Intimate Partner Homicide: Victim, Offender, and Case Characteristics" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5555.