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NCJ Number: 202503 Find in a Library
Title: Girls, Guys, and Gangs: Convergence or Divergence in the Gendered Construction of Gangs and Groups
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2003  Pages:423-433
Author(s): Jenna L. St. Cyr; Scott H. Decker
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A questionnaire was administered to 103 youths (74 male and 29 female juvenile detainees) in St. Louis, MO, to determine the effects of gender and gang membership on perceptions of values, activities, and organizational characteristics of gangs.
Abstract: The questionnaire was based on an existing instrument used to capture perceptions and the scope of gang activity, gang characteristics, and gang structures in St. Louis (Decker and Kempf-Leonard, 1991). Several new measures were added to the questionnaire in order to examine the perceptions of female gang activities and involvement. Toward the end of the interview, respondents were asked about their own gang membership, participation, and victimization. The study found that nongang members estimated fewer gang members and fewer gangs than did the gang members in the sample; however, female gang members estimated fewer members and fewer gangs than did the other three groups. In the case of gang values, females viewed values regarding the salience of violence as significantly less important than their male counterparts. In other areas of gang activity, however, female gang members rated these values as more important than each of the other groups. Female gang members estimated that girl gang members were more involved in the range of gang activities than was estimated by the other groups. The key finding of this study was that gang membership was a more salient indicator of the perceptions of gang structure, values, and activities than was gender. 5 tables, appended questionnaire scenarios, and 42 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Female gangs; Gang member attitudes; Gang violence; Gender issues; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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