The Association Between Sex Ratio and Violence Against Women in New York State

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kristin Snopkowski


Domestic violence against women is a serious public health issue. Every year approximately one million people face violence at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, with 85% of incidences being perpetrated against women. This study examined the association between sex ratio (the number of men to the number of women in a county) and rates of domestic violence committed against women in New York State. Two conflicting theoretical predictions have been proposed: 1) when there are more males in a region, heterosexual males may use intimate partner violence as a means to control their mate or 2) when there are more females in a region, heterosexual males have greater bargaining partner and can engage in behaviors that are less desirable to women.

Data was collected from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and included female victims of intimate partner violence reported in 2017 by county. The study analyzed the rate of incidents reported per 10,000 men in a given county compared to the sex ratio. Preliminary results show that as sex ratio increases (there is a greater number of men than women in a county), the rate of domestic violence against women declines.

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