First Advisor

Annette I. Jolin

Term of Graduation

Summer 1995

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Administration (MSA)


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Sentences (Criminal procedure) -- Oregon, Women -- Crimes against -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iii, 68 pages)


It is generally agreed that a criminal justice system reflects the values of the society within which it exists. The presence of patriarchal social values will likely affect the response of the criminal justice system to intimate violence. While the perpetration of violence against another is a violation of an important social norm, patriarchal values may function to discount the seriousness of such an act, if the violence is perpetrated by a man against his girlfriend or wife. This discount of seriousness may lead to less severe punishment for men who assault their intimates than to men who assault nonintimates.

The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that men who are convicted of committing serious assaults against female intimates receive more lenient punishment than men who are convicted of committing serious assault against nonintimates. Punishment was defined as sentencing outcomes, i. e. type and length of sentence. The sentences of offenders convicted of felony assaults as the major offense and subject to sentencing guidelines in Oregon in 1993 were examined.

Chi-square tests were used to compare the sentence types of intimate and nonintimate violence offenders. Two-tailed t-tests and multiple linear regression were used to examine the relationship between victim-offender relationship and length of sentence. It appears that the presence of Oregon's sentencing guidelines, rather than victim-offender relationship, had the greatest effect upon the severity of punishment. This finding suggests that the guidelines may be responsible for minimizing the impact of patriarchal values on sentencing decisions in serious assault cases.


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