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NCJ Number: NCJ 179979   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Female Gang Involvement in a Midwestern City: Correlates, Nature and Meanings
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Jody A. Miller
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 453
  Annotation: This study explored various facets of gang involvement among young women in Columbus, Ohio, including the factors that correlate with gang involvement by girls; the structures, nature, and activities of gangs that young women join; and the gendered meanings and roles within these groups.
Abstract: Interviews were conducted with 46 girls (21 gang and 25 non-gang), all of whom lived in areas of the city in which they had at least minimal exposure to gangs. The survey instrument developed for the study is a variation of several instruments currently being used in conjunction with longitudinal and cross-sectional research in a number of U.S. cities. The questionnaire is broadly based, covering a number of factors that the literature suggests may be related to gang membership among youth in general and girls in particular. Questions pertain to reasons for joining or not joining a gang, the structure of gangs joined, and gang activities. Findings show that gang members were significantly more likely to have been sexually abused and were significantly more likely to report having multiple sexual partners in the last years. Gang members were also significantly less likely to report that marriage and motherhood are important to them, indicating less adherence to traditional feminine values. A significant new finding of this study is that female gang involvement in Columbus primarily involves girls' participation in integrated mixed-gender groups rather than in auxiliary subgroups or in autonomous all-female gangs. The study provides in-depth evidence of the gender dynamics of primarily African-American gangs. The women in this study believed in their equality within the gang, while at the same time describing and often supporting unequal gender structures and the exploitation of females. Suggestions are offered for future research, and implications of the findings are drawn for social policy. 8 tables, 156 references, and appended interview questionnaire
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents ; Juvenile gang behavior patterns ; Female crime patterns ; Female deviance ; Gang Prevention ; Female gangs ; Gang member attitudes ; Ohio
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 96-IJ-CX-0005
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School University of Southern California Doctor of Philosophy
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