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Female Juvenile Delinquents


The past several decades has seen an increase crime in America. Crime is becoming more and more prevalent, not just in society as a whole, but among juveniles as well. While this problem affects both males and females, most attention and study has been given to male juvenile offenders.

Compared to male offenders, female offenders have received little empirical attention. ...Female offenders constitute a relatively small proportion of criminal offenders. ...About 18% of adults and juveniles who were arrested in 1992 in the United States were females (U.S. Department of Justice, 1993). The statistics are similar for arrests in Canada. (Bonta, et al, 1993, p. 277)

According to one study, "the juvenile female offender is perhaps the most enigmatic, misunderstood, underserved student in the United States educational system" (Fejes-Mendoza, Miller, and Eppler, 1995, p. 309). The reason for this is as with most subjects that have to do with human behavior, and health, observers of juvenile delinquency have historically tended to base their observations on a male model of behavior. Females are emotionally, psychologically, as well as physiologically different from males which leads to different behaviors, and responses to social stimuli, and therefore different results, or consequences in many cases.

In spite of advances in the women's movements, biology rules. Underlying all the recent social advances, boys, especially those in gangs, still want to demonstrate their masculinity and "superiority" by being as sexually promiscuous as possible, impregnating girls, and committing crimes. These are their badges of manhood (Becklund, 1993).

These instinctually generated behaviors are manifested in anti-social criminal behaviors caused also in part, by conditions stated above. Instinctual responses to causal factors such as dysfunctional family systems, peer pressure, physical...

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