Situational Affects of Gender Inequality on Girls Participation in Violence

Jody Miller, University of Missouri - St. Louis
Norman A. White, University of Missouri - St. Louis

This paper suggests that girls' use of violence cannot be understood fully unless it is examined in the context of the situational enactment of gender inequality. The approach is to examine girls' gendered violence: the contexts and qualities of their use of violence, and the social organization of these actions. We highlight three theoretical issues necessary to understand girls' violence: (1) cultural definitions of masculinity and femininity and their impact on girls' behavior; (2) power differentials between males and females and how these regulate and constrain girls' use of violence; and (3) the impact of group and situational gender composition in shaping violence.

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Updated 05/20/2006