Exploring Girls' Participation in Violence
Youth violence, and particularly violence carried out by girls, has been the subject of intense media attention recently, with an ever-increasing number of girls portrayed as carrying guns in their mouths and participating in violent crime. Although the percentage of girls' involvement in delinquency and crime has increased in the last two decades, it is still far below the level of boys' involvement, and it differs quite significantly.
There is a paucity of literature on girls' violence, as most research on youth violence does not distinguish between girls and boys. The most comprehensive and extensive literature reviews on young women's crime and delinquency have been conducted by Meda Chesney-Lind and her associates. While not focusing exclusively on violent girls, their work on girls in trouble with the law provides much insight into the complex issue of girls' aggression and violence. The summary of research in this brief is, for the most part, guided by their work.