What Would You Do? Examining Gun Ownership on Safety Planning Activities and Response Intentions to an Armed and Unarmed Assailant by Gender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A significant number of people worry about their safety although more women report being concerned about their safety, feel more vulnerable to every kind of crime, and take more safety precautions than men. Gun rights activists suggest that having a gun is a good self-protection strategy; however, little is known about how gun ownership is associated with personal safety planning. This study used a convenience sample of 270 men and 821 women to explore gun ownership, gun readiness practices, and how gun ownership is associated with safety planning and response intentions to two threat scenarios by gender. Overall, over 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women indicated that they own guns for personal safety reasons, while gun readiness practices did not differ by gender. Gun ownership was associated with general safety planning activities and the response intention of physical resistance. However, higher safety efficacy (the perceived capability of deterring or stopping a threat) had more constant associated with safety planning and response intentions than gun ownership, which may suggest that mindset and confidence are more important in safety planning than gun ownership alone. Consistent with prior research, results of this study also suggest that gender does matter in understanding personal safety planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalViolence and Gender
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the University of Kentucky, Department of Behavioral Science.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2020, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2020.

Keywords

  • gun ownership
  • safety planning
  • violence prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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