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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70007 Find in a Library
Title: Women's Liberation and the Female Delinquent
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(July 1980)  Pages:230-244
Author(s): J James; W Thorton
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effects of feminist attitudes on delinquency involvement by adolescent girls is investigated directly and indirectly through variables of delinquency opportunity, social support, and parental social controls.
Abstract: Data were collected through an anonymous self-report questionnaire administered to 287 girls in grades 8 through 12 attending schools in a small city in the Northwest. After analyzing the students' responses through nonparametric correlational techniques and regression analysis, it is concluded that attitudes toward feminism have little direct effect on social delinquency, i.e., females who agreed and those who disagreed with the goals of the feminist movement were almost equally involved in status offenses. However, there is a slight direct negative effect between positive attitudes toward feminism and property and aggressive offenses--a finding that contradicts most conventional wisdom about the relationship of feminist attitudes to delinquency. Furthermore, there is some indication that girls encountering high degrees of delinquency opportunity and social support for delinquency who have low levels of parental social control are less likely to be aggressively delinquent when they hold favorable, rather than unfavorable, attitudes toward feminism. Conversely, a girl's positive attitudes toward feminism have little influence on aggressive delinquency when the girl encounters low social support for delinquency, few opportunities to be delinquent, and a high degree of parental supervision. Hesitancy is urged in the acceptance of claims that the women's movement contributes directly to rises in female crime, in view of this study's evidence which suggests that the extent of crime among feminist women is similar or less frequent than among their more traditional counterparts. Tables, footnotes, and approximately 15 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Female juvenile delinquents; Female status offenders; Perception; Psychological theories; Self concept
Note: Paper presented at Southern Sociological Meetings, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1979
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