Although there are many similarities between male and female delinquency among youth there are also differences that are overlooked. The tables below examine youth delinquency from the perspective of an individual with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law and Deviance and a Youth Child Worker to help you better understand the complexities of youth crime.
Insights from a Crime, Law and Deviance graduate:
• Crime is more frequent
• Crime is more serious than female crimes
• Delinquency is more likely to carry into adulthood
• Less likely to be arrested for violent crimes (i.e. homicide, assault or robbery)
• Less likely to be arrested for serious property crimes
• More likely to be arrested for crimes related to prostitution and promiscuity
• Delinquency is less likely to carry into adulthood
• More likely to participate in property related crimes such as theft under $5000
• More likely to have harsher verdicts for administrative issues (such as missing an appearance in court)
Further insights from the perspective of a Child Youth Worker:
• Males try to uphold an image
• More resistant to changing their behaviour after first offence
• Males usually commit crimes to be a part of a bigger group
• Feel more remorse & understand how actions affect their lives
• More likely to commit a crime when they are with a friend or a significant other especially if the male is delinquent
Why are youths committing these crimes? Part 1
Theft under $5000 is fairly common among youth as they do not have jobs or access to meaningful work opportunities. Most teenagers are placed in menial jobs and find it difficult to follow through with work that offers them little or no satisfaction/ fulfillment. Furthermore, due to their age, youths are more likely to become restless and give up. The underlying reason for theft is simple; kids do not have money and want to fit in. I’m sure you can remember the social pressures of being “cool” and being liked by the popular kids. Youths will often steal electronics, make-up, purses, clothing and shoes in an attempt to fit in. They want to take part in the “popular” culture. Some youths come from families that cannot afford the latest electronics, clothing etc. Consequently, youth will steal the products instead.
Females are more likely to be arrested for promiscuity and prostitution either because they are discovering their sexuality or have had negative sexual experiences. For instance, many females are molested and sexually assaulted by family members including; fathers, brothers and step-fathers and step-brothers. Sexual assault often leads to girls losing respect for their bodies and becoming indifferent to others exploiting their bodies. Subsequently, if a female runs away from home due to sexual assault, she may turn to prostitution for money as she feels her body is no longer sacred.
In respect to promiscuity, some girls may feel the need to dress promiscuously to attract men due to media portrayals of girls as tools of sexual gratification for males. Media plays a large role in how young females view their bodies. This is not to say that media is the only contributing factor to promiscuity but media does play a significant role in shaping female self-worth among youths.
Part 2 to follow later on this week.
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