St. Louis Public Radio News
4:05 pm
Thu April 17, 2003

"Gangs, Girls and Guns" Conference at UMSL

St. Louis, MO – Criminologists say girls are involved more in gang violence than was previously thought.

"Gangs, Girls and Guns" was the topic of a national conference today at the University of Missouri St. Louis.

UMSL criminologist Finn Esbensen says researchers and police have concentrated most of their attention on young males.

"As a general rule, there's been a very chauvinistic attitude on the part of
law enforcement to overlook or to reclassify girls' behavior in a more
stereotypical manner," Esbensen said.

Esbensen spoke recently on KWMU's St. Louis on the Air. He says the type of violent behavior among young women has not changed much in recent decades.