The Role of Gender in Conflict-Related Intimate Partner Homicide

Elicka S.L. Peterson, Florida State University

This paper presents a discussion of the role of gender in partner homicide using Black's self-help conceptual framework. This analysis is based on data from 228 intimate partner homicides committed in St. Louis between 1980 and 1995. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to examine sex, race, and marital status differences in homicide patterns from a self-help perspective. Only sex emerged as having a significant role in predicting the likelihood and character of lethal social control employed by and against intimates. The complex role of sex in marital status and its possible attenuation of marriage as a clear indicator of positioning in social space is also discussed. Finally, the policy ramifications of these findings will be considered, along with some of the broader methodological and substantive issues arising from this research.

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Updated 05/20/2006