Female Street Gangs, Crime and Violence

Females in male gangs - All girl gangs - Why girls join gangs

When you think of gangs and gang members do you ever think of girls being a part of the street gang scene? Probably not. Although they have always been associated with the male members as girl friends, wives, sex objects or "go-fers," not many extensive studies have been made to determine to what extent these gangsta girls are involved in the gang culture.

As more and more females become involved with the street gangs, they are making their presence known. Some join or form "girls only" gangs while others join the traditional male gangs and they have been documented as participating in all of the crimes and acts of violence associated with their male counterparts.

Why do girls join this often times violent world of gangs? For the same reasons that the males do. Mostly they come from economically deprived neighborhoods and live with a single parent. They frequently do not have, or think they do not have, a home life and there is no feeling of family love, no sense of belonging. They also join due to peer pressure, excitement, money, drugs, and even fear, threats and intimidation. The gang "family" promises to give them all the things they want or need.

Joining a gang, whether as a member of a predominantly male gang or an all female gang, can be as dangerous and hazardous for the females as the male. Most must go through the ritual of gang initiation which might consist of a beating with fists and/or clubs, an order to shoot someone, participation in an act of violence, such as assaulting or beating a rival gang member, or an innocent person. Many females are initiated by being "sexed in." The prospective member may voluntarily agree to have sex with some or all of the male members and in some instances she may be raped. A recently reported trend to being sexed in is to have sex with someone who is known to be HIV positive.


Video - Girls That Dress In Gang Colors


Female members frequently have one or more children and as they grow older, feel the need to separate themselves from the gang life. This is sometimes as difficult and dangerous as joining the gang. Many gangs have a "jumping out" ritual that may include a severe beating. This could lead to permanent injury or death.

Female gang membership is rising rapidly in many parts of the United States. And as with the male gangs they are being encountered in small communities as well as the large cities. Everyone should be aware of this and we should all think about programs to encourage these young girls, not only to stay out of gangs but also to get out (Easier said than done). They need to understand that being a member of a gang will probably lead to unwanted pregnancies, injury, drug abuse, a criminal record, incarceration and possibly death.

Law enforcement personnel, when handling suspected or known female (and also male) gang members, should always use extreme caution. NEVER assume that just because she's a girl, she won't try to hurt or possibly kill you.

For more in depth information on female gang membership please click onto the links below.


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Robert Walker

This page was last updated on 03/14/2014

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