Age and Crime Of all factors associated with crime, the age of the offender is one of the most significant. Arrest rates for violent crime and property crime are highest for people between the ages of 13 and 25, with the peak being between ages 16 and 7. In 2007, persons under age 25 accounted for more than 44 percent of all arrests for violent crime and almost 54 percent of all arrests for property crime (FBI, 2008). Individuals under age 18 accounted for over 25 percent of all arrests for robbery, burglary, and larceny-theft. Scholars do not agree~n the reasons for this age distribution. In one earlie¥.study, the sociologist Mark Warr (1993) found that p~er influences (defined as exposure to delinquent peers, time spent with peers, and loyalty to peers) tend to be more significant in explaining delinquent behavior than age itself. More recent studies have tended to confirm this finding. median age of those arrested for aggravated assault and homicide is somewhat older, generally in the late twenties. Typically, white-collar criminals are even older because it takes time to acquire both a highranking position and the skills needed to commit this type of crime. Rates of arrest remain higher for males than females at every age and f~r nearly a" offenses. This female-tomale ratio remains fairly constant across all age categories.
The most significant gender difference in the age curve is for prostitution. In 2007. almost 60 percent of all women arrested for prostlrurlon were under age 35. For individuals over age 45, many more men than women are arrested for sex related offenses (including procuring the services of a prostitute). This difference has been attributed to a more stringent enforcement of prostitution statutes when young females are involved (Chesney-Lind, 1997). It has also beet, suggested that opportunities for prostitution are grealer for younger women. This age difference may not have the saJpe impact on males. who continue to purchase sexual services from young females or males (see Steffensmeier and Allan. 2000