Female Juvenile Delinquency Essay

2682 Words May 10th, 2012 11 Pages
Female juvenile delinquency: What went wrong with “Sugar and Spice and all things nice”?
Ariana Kalaitzaki
Griffith University

This review addresses major questions around female juvenile delinquency, around which much contemporary research is oriented. These involve which factors are contributing to female juvenile delinquency and what causes female juveniles to display criminal behaviour in the first place. Theories and risk factors will be identified. Although research in the past decade has yielded considerable information about these questions, issues that need further investigation are also presented.

Female juvenile delinquency: What went wrong with “Sugar and Spice and all things nice”? Until recently,
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This theory explains that peoples’ reasoning develops from birth up until a person is older, eventually leading to a mature adult with logic (Siegel & Senna, 1997). Here, criminals are thought to be lower in their moral judgement development. Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) explain delinquency in what is known as a general theory of crime which supports psychological determinism. Having low self-control is one reason why females may engage in criminal behaviour. Those who lack self-control tend to take more risks, and are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour (Burton, Cullen, Evans, Alfred & Dunnaway, 1998).
Social positivism. Social positivism focuses on social and cultural factors which lead to delinquency (Lancelot & Blanc, 2002). Among the many social control explanations that may be applied to explain female delinquency is social bond theory (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). This approach claims that an individual with strong ties to family, friends and work were insulated from criminal involvement. Cerkovich, Giordano and Rudolfo (2000) support social bond theory in their study which found that the strongest predictor of female criminal behaviour was living with a mate or being married. Furthermore, Anderson, Holmes and Ostresh (1999) study highlighted that attachment to school and peers significantly decreased girls severity of delinquency. A contrasting theory originates from Sutherland in 1929 and was referred to as differential

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