Fear of Crime and the Mass Media

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Fear of Crime and the Mass Media Lisa Strickland Victims of the Justice System CJUS 435 Caron Jacobson October 16, 2011 The fear of crime is defined as an anticipation of victimization, rather than fear of an actual victimization. Characteristics exist in people that prompt them to fear, some attributes play a substantial role when determining one level of fear. Gender is the strongest predictor of fear. Women have a greater fear of crime than men. Women’s fear comes mostly from their vulnerability to sexual aggression; women are ten times more likely to be sexually assaulted than are men (Crowell & Burgess, 1996). Women are born with this fear. Parents, peers and media reinforce fear toward women into thinking that they’re vulnerable for an attack if they go out alone at night. Another suggestion why women are more fearful is irrationality, great concern for their children which ignites fear and less control over public and private spaces than men (Gilchrist, et al. 1988). Age is also a predictor of fear. Elderly people have a higher level of fear because they feel more vulnerable. When it comes to fear of crime victimization, 18% of those aged eighteen to thirty-four, 21% of those thirty-five to fifty-four and 26% of those fifty-five and over expresses a great or fair amount of fear (Angus Reid, 1997, p. 51). Elderly people levels of fears are high, but they’re not the specific targets of most crimes. Certain crimes creates more fear than other, victimization can have different impacts on fears. Sprout and Doob showed that the highest level of fear for victims and non-victims were found in cases of break and enter with the victim at home (Sprout & Dobb, 1997,p 286). Victims who express the most fear of walking alone at night are victims of sexual assaults. It also varies according to
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