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A Gender Perspective on Corruption: The Case of Building Permits

Petter Gottschalk

The dominance of males in virtually all forms of crime is one of the
most well established empirical regularities in criminology. The gender gap
in crime, however, is not uniform, that is, it varies over offense type. Men
dominate in the commission of direct contact predatory street crime
involving violence, such as murder and robbery, while women commit a
somewhat larger share of minor property crime types such as shoplifting.
The gender gap in crime extends to white-collar crime. Proposed reasons
for gender differences in white-collar crime include lack of opportunity and
risk aversion among women. As it does with street crime, the gender gap in
white collar crime varies over different types of It came as a surprise that a
female officer in the building permits department in the city of Drammen in
Norway was detected for corruption. She confessed having received bribes
from a number of builders. When applying convenience theory, gender
theory as well at the gender model, however, it comes as no surprise that
also women are involved in corruption. The lack of detection is linked to
the lack of suspicion against female managers.

Keywords: Opportunity theory; gender theory; white-collar crime;
corruption; detection.