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NCJ Number: 66470 Find in a Library
Title: DELINQUENCY IN GIRLS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Journal: AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:(MARCH 1979)  Pages:81-85
Author(s): R A OMODEI
Corporate Author: Sociological Assoc of Australia and New Zealnd
University of Canterbury
Dept of Sociology
New Zealand
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Sociological Assoc of Australia and New Zealnd
Christchurch, New Zealand
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: THIS RESEARCH REPORT FOCUSES ON THE DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR OF GIRLS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA IN THE YEAR 1975-76. THE REPORT CONCLUDES THAT A NEW CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK IS NEEDED TO EXAMINE FEMALE DELINQUENCY.
Abstract: THREE MAIN PROPOSITIONS ARE INVESTIGATED: (1) THAT OFFENDING RATES WILL BE MUCH LOWER FOR GIRLS THAN FOR BOYS, (2) THAT FEMALE DELINQUENCY IS PRIMARILY SEXUAL DELINQUENCY, AND (3) THAT THE PATTERN OF OFFENSE FOR GIRLS WILL INDICATE THAT GIRLS ARE ACTIVE IN A NARROW RANGE OF DELINQUENT ACTIVITIES THAN ARE BOYS. FOR 1975-76, THERE WERE TOTAL OF 8,345 CASES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. A TOTAL OF 1,603 GIRLS ACCOUNTED FOR 21 PERCENT OF THE COURT APPEARANCES AND 5,385 BOYS FOR 79 PERCENT OF COURT APPEARANCES. THE OFFENDING MALE TO FEMALE RATIO IS NEARLY ONE TO FOUR. THE DATA SHOW THAT A LARGE PROPORTION OF PROPERTY OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED BY GIRLS. ONE INTERPRETATION OF THIS PHENOMENON ARGUES THAT A PROPERTY OFFENSE SUCH AS SHOPLIFTING COULD BE REGARDED AS ROLE-EXPRESSIVE. WHILE BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS COMMIT PROPERTY CRIMES, BOYS FEEL FREER TO COMMIT ACTIVE PROPERTY DAMAGE, OR TO STEAL MOTOR VEHICLES, WHILE GIRLS DO NOT HAVE EVEN THESE ILLEGITIMATE MODES OF BEHAVIOR AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, ANOTHER RESEARCHER SUGGESTS THAT THE JUVENILE COURTS HAVE SEXUALIZED THE OFFENSES COMMITTED BY GIRLS, ESPECIALLY BY HAVING OFFENSE CATEGORIES THAT IMPLICITLY INCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF SEXUAL MISBEHAVIOR, AND BY THE COMMON PRACTICE OF MODIFYING CHARGES AGAINST GIRLS TO INCLUDE INCORRIGIBILITY IF THE GIRLS HAVE BEEN THOUGHT TO BE SEXUALLY ACTIVE. THAT MORE GIRLS ARE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL OFFENSES ONLY SHOWS THE EXISTENCE OF A DOUBLE STANDARD OF MORALITY, SINCE THESE OFFENSES BY THEIR VERY NATURE ARE HETEROSEXUAL. A THOROUGH EXAMINATION OF DIFFERENCES IN DELINQUENCY BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS WOULD REQUIRE A STUDY OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS AS A RESPONSE TO DOMINANT SOCIAL VALUES, ESPECIALLY WITH RESPECT TO CHANGING SOCIAL MORES. A FOOTNOTES AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (PRG)
Index Term(s): Australia; Cultural influences; Female juvenile delinquents; Juvenile court procedures; Male juvenile delinquents
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