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A new FindLaw.com survey suggests that almost 40% of Americans have set foot in a courtroom -- either as a plaintiff or defendant. Respondents had different reasons for entering the halls of justice, but traffic infractions (18%), custody and divorce issues (11%) and criminal complaints (7%) came out on top.
Results also indicate that men are more likely to go to court than women. Forty-four percent of male respondents have been to court, while only 31% of women have done the same.
A closer look at the numbers -- both from FindLaw and others -- may give some insight into the gender gap. But first, take a look at the full results:
Two of the top five reasons for going to court are traffic infractions and criminal violations. Men are over 3 times more likely to be cited for reckless driving or driving while intoxicated, according to a survey by Quality Planning, an analytics company that works with auto insurers. These are infractions that automatically result in a court date.
FindLaw.com's numbers reflect this discrepancy. Only 11% of women reported going to traffic court, compared to 25% of men.
Men are also more likely to engage in crime, according to Department of Justice Statistics. This is true even though they are a lesser percentage of the overall population. The FindLaw survey reflects this result as well, with 10% of men reporting having been a defendant in a criminal case. Only 4% of women reported being in the same position.
It would seem men are simply more likely to do things that force them to visit a judge.