Why Car Thieves Are Male

Car theft is a man’s world, according to a new paper by Christopher W. Mullins and Michael G. Cherbonneau. Car thieves face two big tasks: stealing the car and selling it. Both male and female thieves are “mentored” by more experienced thieves?in much the same way; however, men have an advantage when it’s time to sell the stolen goods. “They are more connected to a social network of criminals that provides access to chop shops, where the cars can be dismantled and sold for parts,” reports Tom Bartlett. Mullins and Cherbonneau conclude that “[w]ithout these contacts the ability to profit from auto theft was significantly curtailed. The next profitable source for those who lack access to these higher outlets was to sell vehicle parts and accessories on the streets. … Yet, even those who sold parts on the street relied upon social networks to either move parts or become aware of customers.” [%comments]


Brett

So females are less social?

Why do I find this to be so incomplete? If we're going for 'Why?', let's ask why males are more socially connected...

Adam

Is the implication here that women need to hone their crime circle social networking skills? The future of social media is apparently female (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2008/tc20080516_580743.htm) and women tend to have higher returns on social capital exchanges (http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/ronald.burt/research/GSC.pdf) so why shouldn't they be able to dominate the car theft market, if social networking is all it takes?

There must be another force at work, and the premise of this article must be a gross over-simplification of complex criminal processes that go far beyond gender roles.

BC

Is it not true that in general that most criminals are male? Prisons are overwhelmingly male, so this would seem to imply such.

Are a higher percentage of car thieves compared to criminals as a whole?

MRB

The article didn't say that men were more skilled, just more connected.

tyler

Maybe we should reduce the punishments for females involved in auto theft, and maybe even for chop shops working with female car thieves. This might make opportunities in the field more equal.

Port Wash Greg

Yes, the premise sounds, on the face of it, all wrong. To me, more males steal cars than females for much the same reason that more males buy Car & Driver magazine than women.

Along the same vein, I'd be curious to know who shoplifts clothing more: men or women?

Bela

I don't interpret the article as insinuating that women are less capable at building social capital than men. Rather, I think the authors argue that profiting from auto theft requires access to a very specific social network that has been traditionally male-dominated, and tends to remain male-dominated because of the mentoring needed to get into the "field", as well as the "invitation-only" nature of it.

SKV

What a lame excuse for analysis.

I suppose the reason men commit most murders is that they have a social network to weapons?

If you're going to do an over-simplistic gender role correlation, at least it should make sense: people steal what they are familiar with and what they covet. That might be why more men steal cars and more women, like Rudy Guiliani's daughter, [allegedly] steal makeup.

John

It's not really about social networking, it's about a certain type of social networking - let's call it gearhead social networking.

If I understand the point of this too-brief article, females are probably underrepresented in autobody classes etc, and are therefore underrepresented in the networks that men build growing up sharing a love of tinkering with cars.

PM

The social networking mentioned is not online, in the office, nor at parties, it is in the criminal world where violence, or at least the threat of violence, is an inherent part of the "networking." In this regard, of course there is a significant gender gap. I would also venture men also have an advantage in obtaining stolen goods, of any variety, for this same reason.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

It is not that Cars are a Male thing. Women drive cars in equal rates.

It is that Crime is a Male thing. Men are 93% of the Prison Poulation. They are 10 times more likely than women to Steal Cars, Vandalize, Assault, Do Armed Robbery, Join a Gang, Do Grand Theft, Do Graft Corruption, Murder, and Avoid Arrests on a Car Chase thru the Streets of San Francisco.

Ian Kemmish

Maybe the women are just better at not getting caught and/or interviewed? A desire to brag about one's success and criminal connections to a total stranger with a clipboard might, for example, be associated with an excess of testosterone....

Eric M. Jones

Wait a minute...! Males do everything bad with far greater frequency than women (with only a few minor exceptions).

This is probably die to testosterone. This is why farmers castrate all their male animals and borrow a stallion or bull or whatever when they need his services.

In most countries women do most of the real labor and the guys stand around, get drunk and talk sh*t. Where have you been?

You could stop the war in Afghanistan or anywhere if the women just walked out.

Alice

Don't let Parker see this!

Dave Devonis

It's the Galoot Factor again. Is the data broken down by gay/straight? : )

Alex

The social thing makes perfect sense. If a few guys are friends by the end of college its unlikely they will have a falling out. On the other hand, women hate their best friend a week later and never reconcile the differences. Breaking off all you connections is not a good business practice, particularly in a tight knit community like the car business.

Eileen Wyatt

Thinking back to the "car less likely to be stolen if pink" and recent Lego posts, I think we have a duty to ask whether women are more likely than men to steal pink cars.

Moarcowbell

"Wait a minute...! Males do everything bad with far greater frequency than women (with only a few minor exceptions).

This is probably die to testosterone. This is why farmers castrate all their male animals and borrow a stallion or bull or whatever when they need his services.

In most countries women do most of the real labor and the guys stand around, get drunk and talk sh*t. Where have you been?

You could stop the war in Afghanistan or anywhere if the women just walked out."

This is so right on that it bears repeating. That is all.

John Henry

Reality of yy or xy insures that no population can start from the same set of assumptions in such studies.

I don't know what you've been exposed to (Angelina's flicks maybe), but most women don't even like to drive. Nurturing instincts commonly prevail in their decision making, including feeling sorry for the guy who's getting his Escalade ripped off. A few desperate women steal but most are frightened to death of breaking any law. Womens' crimes are sneaky crimes. They will make good accomplices, however. What would these investigators call them? Oh, right, enablers. They will make good enablers.

elsie

Ha!

I say it's the Y chromosome. All those men out there have got one. No one else. And every month it makes them go crazy, and sit up in the middle of the night muttering.

"I must steal a car. I must beat someone up."

Then the little gatherer tries to soothe his heavy brow, saying: "There, there, honey. We've got plenty of mammoth steaks on hand. Everything will be alright. And I'll find some berries tomorrow if you're still hungry."

Usually this works, but still, a few Y chromosomes have their way. And the missing Lexus rate rises.