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SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Shoplifting, Statics, Relate

Course Code
Zaheer Baber

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Chapter 6 –Criminalized Girls
Introduction: Media Representation and Public Perception
Girls that defy social norms are viewed as “naught” (as girl perceived as innocent) while
boys engaged in violence are viewed as normal “boys being boys” (Nasty Girl
Recent trends show increased criminalization of women, especially those that are poor
and racially marginalized
Research links teen girl violence to the patriarchy culture (men are rewarded for
oppressing women, through social, political and economic means )
The problem is the injustice that girls face outside (in society) and within YCJS (from
denial of rights, to harsh penal-ism)
Constructing of the Criminalized Girl
Media discourse; female violence produced by individual’s pathology that comes out due
to petty reasons”
Due to media (“mean girls”, celebrities) that popular discourse has become that girls
have gone wild and increased in violence
Violence isn’t new, but rather its construction and what is being done about it
Medial and popular consciousness fails to contextualize the increase in young female
offenders (as young males are 75-80% responsible for youth offences)
It’s all in the Denominator: Female Delinquency Trends
Statics goes against the media & popular discourse as female delinquency continues to
be lower (small increase since 1940s)
Female delinquency still remains rare
Difference in Male and Female Delinquency
Most frequency charged (for both sexes) is theft under 5000, and more proportionate for
Girls less likely to be charged for more serious crime (homicides) and serious property
Charges related to prostitutions is more prevalent for females
Girls charged with more administration offences

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Girls less likely to extend criminality into adulthood (peak at 14-15, while guys peak at
Girls violence is usually related to relation aggression while male’s violence has more
instrumental purposes (robberies)
Male’s violence more frequent, serious and utilitarian and female violence contextualized
in factors related to self-defence, anticipation of an upcoming physical or sexual assault
or prior victimization of abuse
Female violence linked to socio-cultural context of abuse, sexism, and inequality
Extend of Female Delinquency
Because the females charged with violent crimes, was low to begin with, any small
increase would still reflect a high percentage increase
Though increase in this number, it still remains infrequent and low number of cases
Nature of Female Delinquency
1995-majority of female cases they were incarcerate for minor crimes (such as
shoplifting) and found relation between the girl’s trouble and their offence
N-American consumer culture encourages to buy goods to feel better (beauty industry)
oSocialized to relate identity and popularity to appearance
Living in subculture consumption and a society that value material and wealth, is hard
especially for girl of color (so color tends to shoplift items such as cosmetics)
Girl held on non-criminal charges (ex. Failure to comply, probation, curfew violation, etc.)
Failure to comply has become status offences (as girls aren’t charged from criminal
behaviour but for breaching judicial orders)
Legislation responsible for more girls being process through welfare programs
(Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act, take girls and place them in welfare
More pronounced for Aboriginal girls
Ignoring and Misrepresenting the Female Delinquent
Androcentric: based on male behaviour, male perspective, etc.
Until recently, female delinquency had been ignored
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