Gender and Family Cause Delinquency?

If we continue to study the differences in the gender and family characteristics of youths that unfortunately make bad mistakes and enter the criminal justice system, we may be able to identify sources that will be beneficial in creating prevention, community and deterrence programs that will help break the gap between delinquency juveniles and juveniles. How does gender affect delinquency? It is obvious that boys and girls experience life through different paths and experiences, this may be through socialization methods and some of these gender differences fall between these categories.

Socialization for females: they like to sustain relationships; they are normally less aggressive and end up blaming themselves. Males seem to be more independent and aggressive and externalize their anger. Cognitive is another method and females exert this by having superb verbal abilities tend to speak and express themselves earlier, better pronunciation and are overall better readers. Males have excellent visual/spatial ability and are usually better at math. How does family affect delinquency?

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Research shows that family structure plays a huge part in the characteristics of juvenile delinquency. We can remember as kid’s family being so important in our socialization, I can remember the values taught to me and from all of the people surrounding me and have held an influence throughout my whole life, positive and negative. Socialization is a process that starts not too far after being born and is most of the time started and received from our loved ones surrounding us, our family.

The family feature that we will focus on is single families that may have a past or present criminal history, Matsueda and Heimer (1987) suggest that, because there is one parent, instead of two present, there is less effective supervision. Wells and Rankin (1991) performed a meta-analysis of 50 studies and found that the prevalence of delinquency in broken homes is 10 to 15 percent greater than in intact homes. Most of us have heard of the saying “a broken home” what does this mean?

This is when parents have divorced or even separated and this insinuates that there is something wrong in the home and it may be a faulty house hold, but does this create juvenile delinquency? Unfortunately most youths see divorce as one parent rejecting them during the juvenile years; the rejected youngsters had substantially higher rates of delinquency than the loved youngsters. Here are few statistics: A study of children six years after a parental marriage breakup revealed that even after all that time, these children tended to be “lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure. Wallerstein “The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1991) Seventy percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in broken homes. (Horn, Bush, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform) I can go on and on with statistics, studies, and facts that show family plays a huge role in the life of a juvenile, and could be a factor in why a child may decide to commit crimes and become a juvenile delinquent.

Are delinquent females treated differently than delinquent males by members of the juvenile justice system? From the reading it states that there have been multiple amounts of scholars that feel that female adolescents are affected by injustice in their families but also are victims of injustice within local and federal government agencies and agents involved in the justice system and are treated unfairly compared to their male counterparts.

Girls are at a disadvantage being females because research shows that law enforcement officers seem to be more aggressive to arrest female adolescents for being involved in some kind sexual activity and may turn their cheek and waive off the same behavior from male juvenile delinquents. Unfortunately female delinquents had a higher percentage to be picked up and taken to a juvenile hall before ever seeing a judge or going to trial, and once they did finally go to trial the sentence to juvenile detention centers was about three times longer than boys.

With girls having a better chance for being arrested and being charged and sentence to longer time compared to their male counter parts I would have to say that girls do not benefit from being female in our justice system.

References Axia College. (2005). Juvenile Delinquency. Retrieved from Axia College, CJS240 website Horn, W. , & Bush, A. (1997). Fathers, Marriage, and Welfare Reform Wallerstein, J. S. (1991). The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 3(), 349-360. Retrieved from http://www. jaacap. com/

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