Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Gregory Ford
Last updated: June 20, 2019
Only a minority of thepopulation are involved in violent crimes, despite this, people with no orlittle first-hand experience with violent crime believe that the world is moredangerous and mean than it is in reality, and are generally more afraid ofgetting victimized than they need to be (e. g. Chandler 1995, McQuivey 1997). Fear Victimization paradox is constituted by one’sability to master involvement in a violent crime. Fear Victimization paradoxexists independently of the likelihood of involvement in crime, it can happendespite the likelihood an individual could be very likely become involved in aviolent crime; “a truck driver in the middle of the night at a rest area, itsfear of crime might not be high because it thinks that it has control over sucha situation” (Sandman 1993; Sparks and Ogles 1990). Vanderveen (2003) positsthat “men usually think they can handle it. Women feel more vulnerable”, inreality however, men are more likely to become a victim of a crime (Bureau ofStatistic and Research 1996).
Research has indicated that facts andfigures have no influence on the people’s perception of crime, furthermore,that the media is just one of many variable factors to be taken into accountwhen analysing prevalent fear of crime, whether on an individual or societalbasis. “A person’s personality or socialization are variables which have to betaken into account” (McQuivey, 1997). Olderpeople have a great fear of becoming a victim of crime because they believethey are more vulnerable than younger members in society (Carcach et. al.,2001). Their physical fitness and strength has declined leaving them in aweakened state, and therefore possibly targeting them as easy victims as theyare less likely to be able to defend themselves (Carcach et. al.
, 2001). Gerbner etal (1980) confirmed his previous research in those individuals who watch moretelevision than average showed a higher rate of fear towards their environment,than those who watch less. More recently Dowler (2003) found that even whentaking into account factors such as race, age, gender, income, education andmarital status, those individuals whom watch more crime shows tend to exhibit asignificantly higher rate of being fearful of crime (Dowler, 2003).
Dowler wenton to discover that hours of watching television news programs did not have asignificant relationship with higher levels of fear of crime.