Men Sentenced To Longer Prison Terms Than Women For Same Crimes, Study Says
If you’re a convicted criminal, the best thing you can have going for you might be your gender.
A new study by Sonja Starr, an assistant law professor at the University of Michigan, found that men are given much higher sentences than women convicted of the same crimes in federal court.
The study found that men receive sentences that are 63 percent higher, on average, than their female counterparts.
Starr also found that females arrested for a crime are also significantly more likely to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.
Other research has found evidence of the same gender gap, though Starr asserts that the disparity is actually larger than previously suspected because other studies haven’t looked at the role of plea bargains and other pre-sentencing steps in the criminal justice system.
A 2009 study suggested the difference in sentencing might arise because “judges treat women more leniently for practical reasons, such as their greater caretaking responsibility.”
Past studies have also found that minority men are, on average, given longer prison sentences than white men convicted of the same crimes.