More “Bros,” More Woes? The Prevalence of Male Coalitions in Crimes of Robbery

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The crime of robbery is an act of procuring resources, which involves the threat, intent, or usage of violence. Robbery by coalitions may be particularly successful, given that alliances with other individuals confers considerable advantages in procuring and protecting relevant resources (Kenrick, Li, & Butner, 2003; van Vugt, 2009). Further, past work indicates that men typically commit more robberies than women. Here we examine this sex difference in the offender of robberies in light of the “Male Warrior Hypothesis” that predicts that men are more willing to initiate, plan, and participate in acts of intergroup aggression (van Vugt, 2009). Under section 343 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the definition of robbery includes the offender’s willingness to use threats or violence as means of committing the act (Criminal Code, 1985). Given the propensity for violence during the crimes of robbery, we hypothesize that the majority of robbery offenders would be male, and further, these acts would be primarily performed by men in coalitions. Guilty convictions from the province of Nova Scotia, adjudicated from the years 1996 to 2016, were examined to test the predicted sex and coalition status (i.e., solo, dyad, or group) differences. Results suggest that convicted robbery offenders are overwhelmingly male and act more often in dyads or groups than alone. Also, men perpetrating robbery acts alone are less likely to be violent toward the victims.

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