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NCJ Number: 191650 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Situations of Violence in the Lives of Girl Gang Members
Journal: Health Care for Women International  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:2001  Pages:363-384
Author(s): Geoffrey Hunt; Karen Joe-Laidler
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
Grant Number: R01-AA10819
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drawing from qualitative and quantitative data of a comparative study on ethnic youth gangs in the San Francisco Bay area, this paper examines the role of violence in the lives of female gang members.
Abstract: Even though the area of women and violence has become a topic of growing concern over the last decade, a significant gap has existed in understanding the role of young women in gangs, including the nature and extent of female gang members' victimization and the extent of their involvement in perpetrating violence. To challenge recent portrayals of the characterization of female gang members, this paper examined the violence-prone situations in which these young women operate and exist in. The data for this analysis was acquired from a long-term comparative ethnographic study of ethnic gangs in the San Francisco Bay area which began in 1991 and is ongoing. One hundred and forty-one women from 44 different gangs were involved in the study. Three domains of violence were identified and discussed as existing in the lives of girl gang members: the street, the family, and relationships with boyfriends. Results indicated that girl gang members experience an extensive amount of violence in their lives whether on the streets, in their family lives, or in their relationships with their boyfriends and lovers. They experienced violence, not only as victims but they also act as instigators of the violence. They, on some occasions, were neither victims nor instigators but witnesses. And, when the impact of social organization and violence in the gang were considered, it was found that the women in auxiliary gangs were more subject to violence-prone situations than those in an independent gang. In summation, young women did not seek out violent encounters, what they sought was a place at home, on the street, and in a marginalized community that might have pushed them to resort to violence to protect themselves. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Female gangs; Female juvenile delinquents; Female victims; Gang violence; Gangs; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Victimization; Victims of gangs; Violent females; Violent women; Youth groups
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