New Research May Dispel Myth Of ‘Violent Girls Gone Wild’

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Fewer girls were arrested last year for violent crimes than a decade earlier, according to Department of Justice research prompted by a surge in female juvenile delinquency in the 1990s. USA Todays says arrests for aggravated assault by girls younger than 18 fell 17% from 1998 to 2007. The research comes at a time when widely played videos show girls beating each other up. One such video, circulated on YouTube, showed two teen girls pummeling another girl in June at a Michigan high school. “We’re not facing an epidemic of girls gone wild,” says J. Robert Flores, chief of the department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which spent $2.5 million on the first U.S.-funded effort to explore girl delinquency.

The research project, known as the Girls Study Group, was launched in 2004, a year in which girls accounted for 30% of all juvenile arrests. The leader of the group said it is a myth that girls have become more violent. Among the findings, which cover 1998 to 2007: 13% fewer girls were arrested for all violent crimes; 10% more girls were arrested for simple assault, although the increase occurred earlier in the decade; arrests of boys fell even more – 14% for all violent crimes.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-11-19-girlscrime_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

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