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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202296 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: September 2003
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In the summer of 2001, a questionnaire was administered to 103 juvenile detainees (74 males and 29 females) in St. Louis, MO, for the purpose of examining the effects of gender and gang membership on perceptions of values, activities, and organizational characteristics of gangs.
Abstract: The survey instrument was based on an existing instrument used to measure 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 to examine the perceptions of female gang activities and involvement. Gang membership was identified through self-reporting. A total of 20 male current gang members (27 percent) were identified, and 3 females reported being current gang members (10 percent). When current and past gang membership were combined, the final groups included 43 male gang members (58 percent), 31 male nongang members (42 percent), 7 female gang members (24 percent), and 22 female nongang members (76 percent). In order to test for differences among these groups, analysis of variance was used, allowing for an examination of both the within-group and between-group variation on the measures of interest. For the variables that measured gang structure, gang values, and gang activities, the study found that for most of these areas gang membership was more important than gender in determining answers on the questionnaire. This suggests that gender alone may not account for different perceptions of gang and nongang youth and that underlying social processes affect both genders. 5 tables, 4 notes, 42 references, and appended scenarios included in the questionnaire
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Female gangs; Gang member attitudes; Gender issues; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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