Are women less corrupt than men? Research reinforced this long-held popular assumption, proposing more women in government to reduce corruption. Recently, scholars challenged this assumption. Analysing the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal, we show, using a gendered institutionalist approach, women office-holders’ propensity for corruption is context dependent. Male and female office-holders engage in similarly corrupt behavior when accountability is low. But subsequently they respond to and are treated differently for perceived ‘wrong-doing’ when accountability is high. By comparing low and high accountability contexts using in-depth case-study research, we show how the relationship between corruption, accountability and risk aversion is gendered.