Differences in Gender In Relation To Delinquency CHOOSE ONE: This week we get to discuss the differences in gender in relation to delinquency. After reading the articles authored by Odem and Messerschmitt, what are some differences between the delinquent/criminal acts of males vs. females?
Do you feel that there are no differences between the behaviors of the two genders? Why do you have the opinion that you have, and what supports your opinion? Understanding the obvious ‘gender gap’ between male and female offenders in general, what do you think is the cause of this gap? Are males caught more? Are females given more leeway? How do these differences affect juvenile males and females? Lastly, weigh in on Davis, and Belknap and Hollinger, what differences do you recognize when it pertains to females within the juvenile justice system vs. males? Could these differences become toxic?
We all know that in order to deal with a major issue, we have to get to the root of that issue. I have attached a TEDx Talks video examining the “roots” of youth violence. Urban Youth Specialist, Craig Pinkney, discusses a mutual feeling of ‘invisibility’ as a root cause amongst juveniles who commit violent acts. Using the readings to support, what socio-economic factors do you believe could be the ‘roots’ of gendered delinquency? Do certain factors affect one gender more than the other? What can society do to lessen the gender gap in delinquency? If you believe that there isn’t a gender gap, what can society do to lessen delinquency as a whole?
TEDx Talks “The roots of Youth Violence”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWNTMmktoCQ&spfreload=10
Odell (1991) describes the institution of the Juvenile Court system and the role it played in combating delinquency. Even girls at the age of 18 were reprimanded and punished by the Juvenile Court system, as can be seen in the case of Lydia.
Many of these girls (80%, p.37) were “charged” with sexual or moral offenses and sentenced to longer terms in detention than were males who committed the same offenses.
Discuss the ways in which the Juvenile Justice system perpetuated gender roles through social structure. What changes could be made in the Juvenile Justice system that would ensure equality among (all) genders and how might these changes reduce/restructure the apparent influx in female offending?
In “Boys Will be Boys Differently,” Messerschmitt discusses in great detail the ways in which “boys will be boys” through different means depending on race and class. He also discusses the ways in which female position in groups is perpetuated by male behavior. “Young men exercise authority and control in terms of gender, at least relative to young women of the same race.” p. 89
Do you think Messerschmitt accurately depicted female participation in a criminal group activity? Is it appropriate to delegate female offending solely in relation to male offending? In what ways might female offending better be constructed?