What Gender is the Maturity Gap?

Nanci Koser Wilson, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

A long tradition in criminological theory attributes delinquency to problems of adjustment ocasioned by the lengthy adolescence typical of industrialized societies. But less attention has been paid to the role of gender in this process. This paper addresses the following questions: Can the "maturity gap" also account for differences in male and female delinquency? Do gender differences in the adult roles to which teens aspire, and in the relationship between adults and juveniles shape the nature of the maturity gap?

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Updated 05/20/2006