Youth gangs have spurred a sharp increase in social problems. The development of female gangs dates back to the 1980s. Family pressure, peer influence, ethnic, and economic decline are some of the forces, which lead to the establishment of the female gangs. Categorically, female gangs fall into three distinct groups depending on the method and motive for establishment.
According to criminologists, the gang can be independent, auxiliary, or hybrid. Socially, the gang drives fear in the community due to its involvement in criminal and delinquency activities. The following text expounds on the external/internal forces, which aggravate the establishment of the female gangs and the long-term consequences to the society. Contemporaneous female gang research cites immediate environment as the main aspect contributing to the formation of the gangs. Poor family background, early child abuse, sympathy, and self-affirmation are some of the motives behind the establishment of the negative social groups.
In addition, social stratification also contributes to the formation of the gangs. Some communities sideline families believed to cause social problems like robbery, homicide, and abuse of drugs but eventually the isolation push the young stars to form or join gangs. Sociologists also point at economic hardships and loss of jobs as an aspect that drive young women to engage in criminal activities like robbery for survival. Moreover, illicit trading activities for instance, involving drugs lead to the formation of female gang groups who solely engage in the business. Criminologists categorize the female gang into three groups (Moore and Hagedorn 8).
The first group is the independent/autonomous female gang, which engages in criminal activities, hold traditional/initiation rites, practice violence especially to other female gangs, form their own leadership strategies and may or not involve men in their activities. In addition, the group may establish some membership and hybrid rules. The auxiliary female gang is under the leadership of a male group, which directs their activities.
Lastly, the hybrid (gender-integrated group) female group involves young stars from all races, gender, and ethnic group. The formation of the aforementioned groups has long-term impacts to both the persons involved and the society. In comparison to the male gangs, the female gangs have nothing to boast about in their antisocial career.
According to Moore and Hagedorn imprisonment, drug abuse, early marriage, poor education, and motherhood linger on in the lives of the gang members for a longtime (8). Sex offences like rape that occur to females whose gang forms integration with men remain undercover. Consequently, the females experience emotional and psychological imbalance, which may force them to indulge in alcohol abuse and hard drugs like cocaine, khat, and marijuana among others. Miller and Decker cite violence/homicides as the short-term effect of females who join/form gangs (120). Therefore, poor health and isolation from the community/society because of involvement in drugs and other social crimes affects the individuals negatively. Although males and females may join forces to form a gang, females experience drastic decline in their health and social lives.
Sociologists and criminologists associate female gangs to the immediate environment or family background. Nevertheless, sometimes adolescence, peer pressure, and self-affirmation influence youths to join the gangs. Nevertheless, regardless of the group that the females associate with; the long-term impacts are severe to their physical, social, and personal lives. Finally, sociologists recommend further research into the female gangs, as a social problem, which the society has neglected for a long time.
Miller, Jody, and Scott Decker. “Young women and gang violence: gender, street Offending and violent victimization in gangs.”Justice quarterly 18.1(2001): 116-140. Moore, Joan, and John Hagedorn. “Female gangs: A focus on research.”Juvenile justice Bulletin, March 2001.