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Gender Imbalance and Terrorism in Developing Countries


Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


This article investigates whether gender imbalance may be conducive to domestic terrorism in developing countries. A female-dominated society may not provide sufficient administration, law, or order to limit domestic terrorism, especially since societies in developing countries primarily turn to males for administration, policing, and paramilitary forces. Other economic considerations support female imbalance resulting in grievance-generated terrorism. Because male dominance may also be linked to terrorism, empirical tests are ultimately needed to support our prediction. Based on panel data for 128 developing countries for 1975 to 2011, we find that female gender imbalance results in more total and domestic terrorist attacks. This female gender imbalance does not affect transnational terrorism in developing countries or domestic and transnational terrorism in developed countries. Further tests show that gender imbalance affects terrorism only when bureaucratic institutions are weak. Many robustness tests support our results.