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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66060 Find in a Library
Title: ACTING OUT GIRL
Journal: JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JOURNAL  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:35-41
Author(s): L DURAJ
Corporate Author: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Reno, NV 89507
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ESSAY EXPLORES THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF ACTTING OUT BEHAVIOR, ESPECIALLY AMONG YOUNG WOMEN, AND EXAMINES MYTHS AND REALITIES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY.
Abstract: ACTING OUT REFERS TO DEVIATION FROM WHAT A PARTICULAR SOCIETY VIEWS AS CUSTOMARY PARAMETERS. SUCH BEHAVIOR RANGES FROM MINOR DEVIATIONS, SUCH AS STUBBORNNESS AND USE OF PROFANE LANGUAGE, TO MORE DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIORS INCLUDING TRUANCY, RUNNING AWAY, SHOPLIFTING, DRUG ABUSE, SEXUAL PROMISCUITY, AND OTHER BEHAVIORS TERMED JUVENILE DELINQUENCY. THREE TYPES OF EXPLANATIONS (BIOLOGICAL AND GENETIC, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOANALYTICAL, AND SOCIOLOGICAL) FOR SUCH BEHAVIOR HAVE BEEN OFFERED. UNTIL RECENTLY, ALL THESE THEORIES WERE SEXUALLY STEREOTYPING BECAUSE DIFFERENT SOCIAL NORMS AND STANDARDS WERE APPLIED TO MALES AND TO FEMALES. A WOMAN'S MOVE TOWARD MASCULINITY WAS SEEN AS GRADUATION TO DEVIANT BEHAVIOR AND EVENTUAL CRIMINALITY. IN THE VIEW OF FREUD AND HIS FOLLOWERS, ACTING OUT AMONG YOUNG WOMEN WAS CAUSED BY THEIR MALADJUSTMENT TO THEIR FUTURE FEMININE ROLES. IT WAS FURTHER BELIEVED THAT FEMALES, IN CONTRAST TO MALES, HAD ONLY A LIMITED DELINQUENT REPERTOIRE, BASICALLY LIMITED TO SEXUAL ACTING OUT, BUT OFTEN COMBINED WITH RUNNING AWAY AND SHOPLIFTING. BECAUSE FEMALES' DELINQUENCY WAS SEEN PRIMARILY AS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM HANDLED THEIR BEHAVIOR MORE LENIENTLY THAN MALES' BEHAVIOR. HOWEVER, SINCE THE WOMEN'S LIBERATION MOVEMENT, THE FEMALE OFFENDER HAS BEEN PERCEIVED DIFFERENTLY. STATISTICS, USED BOTH TO PROVE AND TO DISPROVE FEMINIST THEORIES, SHOW HOW VALUE-LADEN THE DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION OF CRIMINALITY IS. IT IS ASSERTED THAT RATHER THAN HAVING A SINGLE CAUSE, JUVENILE DELINQUENCY REPRESENTS A COMPLICATED NETWORK OF ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND POSSIBLY BIOLOGICAL FACTORS ACTIVE AT ANY POINT IN TIME. A RADICAL CHANGE OF APPROACH TO JUVENILE DELINQUENCY FROM SOCIETY'S PRESENT USE OF LEGAL SANCTIONS IS NEEDED. FOOTNOTES AND A TABLE SHOWING JUVENILE OFFENSES IN CANADA AND IN ONTARIO FROM 1972 TO 1977 ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Canada; Cultural influences; Deviance; Female juvenile delinquents; Female sex roles; Female status offenders; Juvenile delinquency factors; Ontario; Problem behavior; Role conflict; Sex discrimination
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66060

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