Questioning the Measurement of the Dependent Variable Used in Sex Disparity Research

Erika Davis Frenzel, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Cassia Spohn, University of Nebraska at Omaha

This paper is a replication of and an expansion of Spohn and Holleran's (2004) research which challenged the dichotomous measurement of the dependent variable when analyzing severity of sentence and racial/ethnic disparity. This research will focus primarily on sex disparity and sentence severity. The goal of this research is to determine if the measurement of the dependent variable affects the findings when focusing on sex disparity. This research utilizes two dichotomous measures and two categorical measures of the dependent variable to determine which measurement is more appropriate when focusing on sex disparity in sentencing.

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Updated 05/20/2006