Gender and Family Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1027 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Gender and Family

"Gender and Delinquency"

Historically there have been many reasonable assumptions about fewer female delinquents than male delinquents and their subsequent involvement in juvenile justice, most assume that it is because when girls, entered the system they were given a much wider berth and allowed to slip by, given the lack of resources or precedence to deal with them. Some also assume that gendered socialization and even biology were at play and that girls were just more rarely seen in delinquency because they were less likely to commit such acts, experienced greater social and parental controls and in general had less instinct or desire to break the law and especially with regard to acts of violence, yet, this group is largely misunderstood or simply lacks fundamental understanding as a result of assumptive treatment and expression. (Peters, 2001, p. 76) (Bridges & Myers, 1994, p. 11) Yet, a fundamental decrease in this gap between boys and girls and delinquency has been anecdotally noted since the 1960s and has been supported by statistics since.

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One thing that is theorized about girls and delinquency is that it is often relationship driven, though to some degree this can be said of boys as well, the relationships most often studied are love relationships and the manner in which they influence girls' behavior. (Peters, 2001, p. 76) This perception, and the following theory of the age gap lends itself well to a logical explanation about gender differences in both reaction to and occurrence of delinquency among girls. This is not to say that girls (or boys) "go bad" only when influenced by others but just as in the justice system in general there seems to be a social reality that girls are often led down the path of delinquency by relationship influences. Yet, many explain this similarity with a concept known as the maturity gap;

TOPIC: Term Paper on Gender and Family Assignment

most antisocial girls' behaviour fits what she termed the 'adolescence-limited' developmental pattern. This pattern arises from a teenager's attempt to escape the maturity gap, ambiguous and psychically uncomfortable years when biological maturity has outpaced social maturity. One way to cope in the maturity gap is by adopting the behavioural styles of antisocial peers, who seem older (or are older). Moffitt (1993a) added that adolescence-limited antisocial behaviour is promoted when teens trapped in the maturity gap have ready access to antisocial peers whose antisocial behaviour they may admire, observe, and mimic. (Moffitt, Caspi, Rutter & Silva, 2001, p. 48)

The real differences seen between girls and boys then may be associated with opportunity, as there are more male than female role models for delinquent behavior and at some point the gender difference takes its toll on relationships. As the relationship turns from one of friendship to romance, in a situation where the male role model is aggressive this situation may result in an aggressive relationship, where the girl is the victim of the behavior she once admired. Where boys emulate behaviors of aggressive role models girls are more likely to become victims of it as both accessories to crime and additionally victims of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Gender and Family."  Essaytown.com.  May 30, 2010.  Accessed September 21, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gender-family/9366.