Scholarly debate about whether the presence of sexually oriented businesses in a community is related to increased levels of crime has been present for several decades.
Scholarly debate about whether the presence of sexually oriented businesses in a community is related to increased levels of crime has been present for several decades. This argument about the "secondary effects" of such businesses shows support for the link to increased crime as well as evidence of a lack of relationship. This article addresses this debate, presenting findings from three spatial analyses using varying-sized buffer zones of rates of violent, property, and public order offenses in the vicinity of sexually oriented businesses in Louisville, Kentucky. Results show that sexually oriented businesses are associated with much higher rates of all types of offenses in the immediate vicinity of the business and continue to have significant effects on crime levels as one moves further from the business. At the site of the sexually oriented business, community, social and economic characteristics are outweighed by the effect of the business; in farther-reaching buffer zones, community characteristics become more important, although the effects of the business remain significant. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.