Problems and Solutions Regarding the Increasing Involvement of Girls in Delinquent Behavior and Status Offense

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Researchers have reported marked differences between the male and female delinquents. Whereas the crimes committed by boys tend to be more serious and varied, the girl delinquents are usually affiliated with less serious crimes (Mann 7). A significant proportion of the girl delinquents are arrested for offenses like larceny, theft (which mostly tends to be shoplifting) and running away and prostitution (Mann 8). Engagement of girls in larceny and theft could be attributed to the changing socio-economic environment. Since females constitute a bulk of the people who shop, girls are more likely to resort to shoplifting for or stealing things that they feel they need but are not in a position to afford them. A great deal of female delinquency could be attributed to exposure to domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse (Feitel et al 156. Stiffman 418). Though boy delinquents are as susceptible to these factors, yet considering the incumbent biological differences and differences in psychological behavior, there do lay gender variations as to how girls respond to some specific environmental factors. Though the onset of puberty is a risk factor that impacts boy offenders, early maturation poses a greater risk factor for girls, considering the onset of external physical changes signifying maturity, while at an emotional and cognitive level, they still tend to be immature (Moffitt 676). Several studies have noted that the onset of early maturity in girls makes them more vulnerable to delinquency. Girls maturing at an early age are more likely to get into a relationship with adult males who may be delinquent, which predisposes them to indulge in delinquent behavior.