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Role Congruity in the Offender-Victim Dyad: The Effect of Gendered Expectations on Crime Clearance

aIndependent Scholar, USA
bWest Virginia University, USA

Advances in Group Processes

ISBN: 978-1-80455-154-7, eISBN: 978-1-80455-153-0

Publication date: 27 October 2022



The purpose is to theorize and empirically estimate the impact of the gendered nature of the offender-victim dyad and crime type on time to arrest.


Predictions regarding the impact of gendered offender-victim dyads and crime type on time to arrest are constructed by extending role congruity theory and tested using data from the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System across five crime types using dyadic-based event history methods.


The authors find strong empirical support that role expectations derived from the gender composition of offender-victim dyads and the masculinity of the crime type affect time to clearance.


This research is the first to theorize and empirically test the relative impact of role congruency and the relational nature of the offender-victim dyad in the adjudication process. Furthermore, the research shows that the construction of “normal crime” can be enhanced by applying a gendered and relational approach, based on social psychological theory, which is predictive of crime clearance.

Research limitations/Implications

Future research is required to validate the results for crimes where law enforcement has less discretion and are feminine typed.

Social Implications

The results imply that by accounting for the expectations generated by gender roles when applied to offender-victim dyads a casual mechanism is established that better organizes previously inconsistent results with respect to the impact of gender on time to clearance. Thus, the authors' utilization of role congruity theory of gender provides a more consistent explanation for inequalities in time to clearance that may be fruitful for evaluating other steps in the adjudication process.




The authors would like to thank Robert Shelly, Lisa Slattery Walker, and Murray Webster, Jr. for helpful comments on a previous draft.


McGrimmon, T.S. and Dilks, L.M. (2022), "Role Congruity in the Offender-Victim Dyad: The Effect of Gendered Expectations on Crime Clearance", Kalkhoff, W., Thye, S.R. and Lawler, E.J. (Ed.) Advances in Group Processes (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 23-49.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Tucker S. McGrimmon and Lisa M. Dilks. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited