So called Girl-on-Girl Violence is Actually Adult-on-Girl Violence GCP-05-03

Laurie Schaffner
Sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago

As arrests of girls for violent offenses rose in the 1990s, public concern  about adolescent girls’ aggression grew around the notion of girl-on-girl  violence. This research briefly explores that idea and argues that young women  are indeed experiencing violence, but not necessarily from each other, as  much as from the effects of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and  poverty. Indeed, girls suffer more from adult-on-girl violence, evidenced by  legislators’ refusal to fund infrastructure such as housing, jobs, and  schools; voter apathy; and the ruthlessness of a highly-profitable prison  system. These factors, more than any change in girls’ behavior, have combined  to usher in the era of the criminalization of social problems.

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