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NCJ Number: 115344 Find in a Library
Title: Guilty by Reason of Sex: Young Women and the Juvenile Justice System (From Criminal Justice System and Women, P 77-103, 1982, Barbara Raffel Price and Natalie J Sokoloff, eds. -- See NCJ-115340)
Author(s): M Chesney-Lind
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A review of theory and research on the juvenile justice system's response to female status offenders elucidates factors underlying the differential treatment of male and female delinquents.
Abstract: As a product of the court's history of extralegal paternalism, status offenses have involved the system in the maintenance of traditional family norms that require a more restrictive role of greater obedience and chastity from females than from males. Fully three-fourths of all girls in the system are charged with status offenses. The enforcement of status offenses has created a de facto double standard: Like 'good parents,' police and court personnel tend to select for punishment girls whose behavior threatens parental authority and boys whose behavior is beyond that which can be excused as 'boys will be boys.' Scholarly apathy toward female delinquency has led to gross distortions and has allowed the judiciary to discriminate against women and girls in the justice systems for nearly a century. More recent research, often by feminists, has faulted the traditional view that female delinquency, unlike that of males, is sexual and interpersonal in nature; that it is more treatable; and that differential socialization of males and females is a cause of delinquency. Such research indicates that females do not specialize in sexual or relational offenses; receive differential treatment from police depending on offense type, are more likely to be referred by parents, and are more likely to be institutionalized and for longer periods. These data indicate a need to challenge the system by dealing more forthrightly with civil rights issues, confronting the sexual double standard and protectionist rhetoric of courts and parents, and examining the relationship between official responses and other forms of sexual inequality. 119 footnotes. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Male female juvenile offender comparisons
Index Term(s): Female sex roles; Female status offenders; Sentencing disparity; Sex discrimination; Societal norms
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