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Are women less corrupt?

December 5, 2012


When Peruvian government decided to put more women in police forces, it was a gender issue. But after 2,500 women joined traffic police in Lima, something unexpected happened. Bribery has dropped so dramatically, that the public embraced women patrolling the streets. According to recent polls, 95% of respondents now think the presence of females had reduced corruption. Does that mean women are less corrupt than men?

This statement would be at least biased, if not discriminatory. There is, however a growing body of research hinting that the ascent of women might indeed help dent corruption. Females are not purer, but when there is a chance of getting caught, we are more cautious than men. Thinking twice about abuse of power may be in our nature. It seems we are programmed to think of the welfare of children first.

Women are now more likely to rise to top positions. Does that mean the fraudulent conduct of those in power, including siphoning off of public money will cease? The research suggests these might be the case for open and democratic societies, which are generally more intolerant of wrongdoing. On the other hand, empowerment of women in autocratic regimes with strong male hierarchies will probably have little impact on corruption.


From → Hic Salta

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