Female Gangs

Female Gangs






Female Gangs

Crime, in the past and in most societies is considered common or even normal among males. However, unknown to many, crimes are committed and there is a rise in incidence of crimes committed among females. This is according to various authorities including the department of justice, news organizations such as CNN and the Los Angeles, and professionals including sociologists and criminologists. In the United States of America, crime among females has been in existence for a long time, and some female criminals carry out their criminal activities in gangs. Gangs are a group of people who organize themselves in opposition to mainstream society. Female gangs appear to have emerged years ago, with accounts of the existence of female gangs in New York City as early as in the 1800’s. There was a sharp increase in female participation in criminal activities in the last half of the 20th century and extended into the 21st century.

Both male and female Gangs are reported to have proliferated in the recent past, especially in the 1980’s and 1990’s.According to there were about 35000 gangs in the United States of America with 1.5 million affiliated members. Between 90 to 94% of these gang members were male and 6-10% were female. Approximately 32000 teenage girls are involved in female gangs. There has been a rise in prevalence of female gangs in the United States of America as indicated by data from .This data indicates that between 1998 and 2009, there was a huge difference in the population of males and that of females involved in gang activity, with less than ten percent of total gang members being female. Two nationwide surveys conducted in 1996 and 1998 by law enforcement, indicated that approximately 11% and 8% respectively of all gang members were female. In May 2008, the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention (OJJDP) provided information that 29.4% of girls and 32.4% of boys in high risk and high crime neighborhoods claimed gang membership. It is evident that there is a rise in female involvement in gang activity.

The types of offenses committed by female gangs are perceived to be slightly different from those committed by their male counterparts. However, there’s evidence that as much as girls mostly take part in the nonviolent criminal activities, they also take part in some violent criminal activity. Some of the crimes committed by female gangs include violence including homicide, simple battery, mob action, drug dealing, prostitution and crimes related to property, weapons and liquor. Unlike their male counterparts, female gangs are more inclined to property crimes and status offenses. Gender patterns of offenses were established in 1992 from surveys by law enforcement in various states. This survey indicated that male gang members were more likely to commit serious crimes than females. The number of arrests of male gang members were higher than female gang members. There was a higher ratio of males to females arrested for non-lethal violence, drug offenses and gang related homicides.

The characteristics of female gang members have been drawn by various professionals including sociologists, criminologists and psychologists, through studies and surveys on the population of female gangs. Female gangs are thought to be composed of individuals of a common belief, or those undergoing various problems or those surrounded by similar circumstances. They share a common belief, and have a common goal. Female gang members are most likely to have been bullied at school, have been in a father-only household, have been forced to have sex, and mostly are or were delinquent. Members of a female gang are likely to have similar attitudes and behavior, which vary greatly from female non-gang members.


Isaac, L. (2015). Gang Activity: Prevalence and Prevention. Social Justice Solutions.

National Gang Crime Research Center. (1997). Facts about Female Gang Members. Journal of Gang Research, 41-60.

U.S Department of Justice. (2001, March). Female Gangs: A Focus on Research. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.