2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


The Association Between Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in New York State and California

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kristin Snopkowski


Domestic violence against women is a serious public health issue. Every year approximately ten million people face violence at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. 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 in New York State and California. 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 males in a region, heterosexual females have greater bargaining power and males engage in behaviors that are more desirable to women. This study analyzed the rate of domestic violence incidents reported per 10,000 men in a given county. Results show that sex ratio is not a significant predictor of domestic violence in New York or California. For both states, median household income is a significant predictor, and as income increases, reported domestic violence rates decrease. The proportion of individuals identifying with particular ethnic groups is a significant predictor as well. Further research should be done to understand the correlation between income, ethnicity, and sex ratio.

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