Experts say people may be more forgiving of female fugitives because of intrinsic, almost primitive, attitudes they have regarding motherhood, The Detroit News reported Monday.
"The mother is a deified status," said Michael Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Experts have compared the separate cases of Roger Crona, 61, and Susan LeFevre, 53, two Michigan residents arrested in California after fleeing the Midwest in the 1970s.
LeFevre, a prosperous mother who fled Michigan 1976 after admitting to selling cocaine, has been the center of a frenzy of publicity and public support since her arrest in Southern California.
Crona, a father who fled a Michigan prison in 1972 after being jailed for license plate forgery, received sparse media attention after police found him in February in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Experts say the public's divergent reactions to the similar cases suggest society may perceive women in a more sympathetic light.