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Jacobsen, S.K., Miller, J. & Bhardwaj, N.* (2020). Gender, racial threat, and perceived risk in an urban university setting.  Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 57(5), 612-639.

Analyses are based on data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 34 undergraduates attending a diverse urban university in a highly disadvantaged community in the northeast. Purposive and theoretical sampling strategies were used, and thematic saturation was achieved.

We find striking gender similarities in students’ perceptions of risk and fear of crime in this particular context. Specifically, both women and men drew on their perceptions of disorder in the community when defining the threat of victimization, which they believed was robbery committed by the city’s African American male residents.

The gendered shadow of sexual assault was surprisingly absent from students’ discussions, suggesting that it may not be as universal across context as previous research suggests. We argue that microlevel contexts and methodological factors may shape the shadow’s presence, nature, and strength in gendered fear and perceived risk.