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Differences Between Gang Girls and Gang Boys: Results From a Multisite Survey

NCJ Number
Youth & Society Volume: 31 Issue: 1 Dated: September 1999 Pages: 27-53
Date Published
27 pages

This article uses data from a multisite evaluation to explore the extent to which gang girls are similar to or different from gang boys.


Similarities and differences between gang girls and gang boys were evaluated in terms of their attitudes, perceptions of their gangs and their involvement in ganglike illegal activities. Gang girls were involved in a full array of illegal gang activities, although not as frequently as the gang boys. Whereas there were similarities in behavioral activities and in reasons for joining gangs, gang girls reported greater social isolation from family and friends and lower levels of self-esteem than did the boys. The article discusses these gender differences in terms of differential developmental trajectories for boys and girls. Findings do not support the notion that gang girls are ancillary members or that they are excluded from the male gang members’ illegal and violent activities. Tables, notes, references

Date Published: January 1, 1999