National Public Radio – All Things Considered

Have Girls Really Grown More Violent?

by Jon Hamilton

All Things Considered. August 5, 2003.

[T]here’s been only a small increase in girls who commit an assault that involves a weapon or causes a serious injury. Jeffrey Butts of the Urban Institute says these facts challenge the idea that a change in girls’ behavior is the major reason for the rise in arrests and detentions. “Behavior changes contribute somewhat to it, but very slightly,” Butts says. “The largest reason for the change is that the juvenile justice system itself is becoming less paternalistic — meaning that police officers, prosecutors, judges are less likely to treat someone differently because she’s female than they may have 20 to 30 years ago.”