Teenage Girl Gang, Initiation Into Gang, 'Jumped In' or 'Sexed In'.
Teenage Girl Gang, or girl gangs do not enjoy as much attention or focus from the general public as Boy gangs. Mainly because we perceive girls to be less likely to get involved in crime and in particular, violent crime. However girls getting involved in crime of all sorts is on the increase and the average age of girls joining gangs is now 14. In May 2008 the Home Office revealed that crimes committed by girls from the ages of 10 and up had risen by 25% over a period of 3 Years. A lot of these girls that commit feral acts of crime, e.g. punching and jumping on their victims, (who are usually alone and unable to defend themselves due to the numbers of the girls involved), are in fact in gangs. They use the same excuse for their actions that boy gangs use, "to gain respect", & or, "he/she (the victim) disrespected me"! The girls maybe part of an all girl gang but are also just as likely to be part of a mixed gang of both sexes. An all girl gang are just as likely as all boy gangs to beat up vulnerable people using fists, boots and knives. Older girls wearing high heels now use their heels as weapons. (The rest of us who like wearing heels for the look, will probably have to get a license to wear them somewhere in the near future). Girls that hang out with guys who are gang committed, (known as "bitches") often carry the knives or drugs for their gang member boyfriends. So who are these girls and why do they join up with gangs? They can be just about anyone these days. Girls who appear to be clean cut or come from good families are just as likely to get involved with gangs as are those girls who grow up on an estate, in one parent homes or appear to us to be bad 'uns.
Teenage Girl Gang members are more likely to be hanging out with gangs in order to feel safe from them and other gangs of females they feel threatened by. This may seem at odds with the world and good sense but, keeping an enemy close is one way of not being picked on at school or on the turf of other gangs. This means that they will have to show their commitment and loyalty by doing things that they may not actually feel comfortable about doing, such as shop lifting, drinking, smoking and picking on, or bullying other girls whom members of the gang or the gang leader dislikes. Often the dislike is one of petty jealousy over a boy or a perceived slight. Other targets may random people walking alone, some girl or boy seen as being too brainy, geeky, or just too different. In other words they make one or all of the Teenage Girl Gang members feel insecure, "disrespected" and therefore beating them up restores their perception of respect and security. In other words beating people to a pulp builds low self esteem for some Teenage Girl Gang members.
Recognising the signs of teen girls joining a Teenage Girl Gang.
Tags are the logo's of particular gangs. These maybe area codes such as "NG2" the post code of the NG2 Crew in the London area and OCS (Brixton), BS2 Bristol. This method of naming gangs is a world wide phenomenon, Gang leaders fight turf wars world over. Historically a male preserve it is now shared with women. The other more obvious clue is when youngsters start referring to their gang of friends as a "crew". Kids as young as ten are joining gangs so it is unwise to take this seemingly innocuous detail lightly.
Most young girls are more inclined to to talk endlessly about a crush,(both male and female crushes). By this I mean that a girl on girl crush although not the same as the more usual girl on boy crush can still be as powerful. Girls often have or make best friends with someone they really like or envy and in it's extreme it can be likened to a crush as they are just as prone to do something out of character for a female crush as they would for a male crush. They can be just as devastated if the friendship falls apart as if and when a male crush is destroyed by whatever means. I digress, it is this endless chatter that may well be the clue to what our daughters are up to inside and outside of school. Girls also love to symbolise their feelings by either drawing hearts with the persons initials inside and so it is when girls get drawn into gangs. They tend to draw the gangs signature or 'tag' inside the covers of books, book bags and or carve it into walls and fence posts. Better yet, spray the tag onto any spare bit of wall.
Less subtle signs of girls joining Teenage Girl Gang. Most gangs have their own dress codes and girl gangs are no different. Girls choosing to wear a particular brand of clothing are usually trying to fit in with a gang. Insistence shows a level of commitment. Sudden changes to the way they dress, like going from a girly look to the more boyish trakkie and hoody look, is either a sign of a young girl daunted by breasts and growing up or a shift in friendships and a joining with a gang. This may also be followed up with a change in the general characteristics of the youngster or a seemingly radical change in personality. In some cases radical changes may mean that she has been coerced in some way to join up with a Teenage Girl Gang and or made a pact with them to do things that are against her upbringing. Take note if at the same time as any changes occur, new friends names keep coming up along with changes in dress code and mannerisms, like an exaggerated walk, accent, or swearing. Always stay on good terms with school teachers so that more information on school performance and the young teens' general demeanour can be assessed. In extremes it maybe necessary to remove the child from situations that enable gang members to manipulate her.
When assessing temperament make sure that the change is not due to pre-menstrual tension and by the same token don't just write changes off by assuming that it is hormonal.
Teen girls who become members of Male Gangs are more than likely sisters or girlfriends. Girlfriends may be initiated into a Male Gang through a process of being 'jumped in' or 'sexed in'. Being jumped in, requires being beaten up by other gang members and being sexed in means either, having sex with one of the gang members, usually the leader, and or with several gang members. This varies in gangs. Ironically the first form is more respected by other gang members than being sexed in. This is in complete contradiction to the idea of 'sex pacts' made in a Teen Girl Gang, which supposedly give those who go along with it some superiority over those girls who reject the pact and hold onto their virginity.
The reasons for joining boy gangs is often done for a boy the teen has a crush on. Joining for protection is common in both groups. Both males and females state that a gang offers protection to its members and that they look out for their own. Establishing a gang may even be as mindless as pure boredom. A gang of kids are more likely to do daring and foolish stuff than two kids on their own or one kid on it's own. Gangs draw the attention of the general population and Teens in Teenage girl Gang crews draw the attention of the boys they like. For both types of gang the major draw card is one of power. The more they are seen to be causing havoc and or beating the crap out of other gangs, kids, pensioners, lone walkers, or those with disabilities the more power they percieve they have. Some unfortunate kids feel as though they have to join for the safety of themselves and their siblings when parents are not around. The choice between being pushed around, beaten up, or joining a gang that protects it's own is no choice at all, but may sometimes be the only one they have if no family member looks out for them.
Once again the irony is that Teenage Girl Gang members who joined gangs for status and 'freedom', are subject to the gangs own rules and boundaries, and do not share an equal standing with the boys. They are in effect 'Cheer' leaders who dice with their future, and dance to a violent and destructive tune. They bow to rules more harsh than any loving parent would be prepared to bind them by. Gang life strangles independence and cripples young minds. Getting in, is one thing, getting out for some can be extremely difficult and dangerous. It can be so difficult in fact, that some adult members of well known gangs, up-sticks overnight and leave, not just the district but in some cases the county or state.
The less organised Teenage Girl Gang, that operate within shcools and have fewer members tend to be the sort that most parents think they can equate with. But as mentioned above they can be very vicious and destructive to a young teens' self esteem and perception of safety. Teenage Girl Gangs can make pacts to lose their virginity at the same time. They maybe as young as thirteen and so have very little understanding of what it is that they have so nonchalantly tossed away. Some of these children may also be traumatised as not all of these pacts are entered into willingly! And sometimes these pacts are not just virginity pacts but are pregnancy pacts! Girls can be quite vicious and are not averse to punching one another in the face or doing GBH. There is not much sugar and spice and all things nice in Teenage Girl Gang s. And not much even in loosely formed Teenage Girl Gang cultures. At best they are just a nuicance in shopping malls, blocking doorways and taunting boys and girls alike. At worst they are one punch, one kick away from being murderers. It is therefore imperative to treat Teenage Girl Gang s as a serious threat to your child and society as a whole.
Our best bet as parents, is to prevent our teenage girls from ever getting tied up into any gang, big or small. In order to do this we need to re-evaluate how we look at age. To a young person of 10yrs, 16 is the ultimate age and the faster they can get there the better they like it. For them wearing the right clothes is halfway to paradise, getting drunk is a sure sign of being an adult and having sex for some is independence. Giving in to desires of wearing make up and clothing that is only fit for eighteen year olds and young adults is tantamount to saying go ahead, do 16yr, 18yr old stuff!! Remember 16 is the age of legal sexual consent, this is still very young, so why cut the time to be a child with childish dreams and wishes even shorter! Half of the pleasure of being a child, is having the childish dreams and wishes, not acting them out. Kids who get involved in Teenage Girl Gang s become jaded very quickly and have a tendency to want to move on to the next questionable activity before they have had the time to evaluate the cost of the previous one. What is left for girls who have had sex, gotten puke drunk more times than they can remember, smoked cannabis, done coke, ecstacy and are smoking at the tender age of 14? Or even at the elevated age of 16?
Everything we do with our children should be age appropriate, including trust. Trust, is one of the most over-used rules of engagement and a burden to young teen Girls and boys. Trust is something that should come with time and experience, and never be used like a sin repellent. Would we trust a four year old to stay away from a well, to keep from following a ball out onto the street? Of course not!! We keep an ever vigilent eye on them. Why then trust a hedonistic young teen with raging hormones and a curious mind, to keep from sexual exploration with someone they think they are in love with, [exchange love for lust and you may have got it right]! Worst of all why extend this trust to staying out until all hours of the night? We are supposed to be the ones with the brains and the experience. We are the ones who are supposed to be protecting our children not Teenage Girl Gang members.
As an aside, an important one, should children and young teenagers who are usually good and happy in nature, suddenly go through a personality change, don't trust that this is simply a phase that they are going through. It maybe something a lot darker. Don't trust that the school knows everything, as bullying takes place both inside school grounds and outside of them. It is possible that your child might be being bullied into stealing, drinking or giving up her virginity. The bigger the group and the younger the age, the more likely it is that your member is part of a problem. Add night to the mix and the bigger the problem. Stay one Step ahead of Teenage Girl Gang s and keep the curfew below 9pm for 14yr olds and 11pm for 16yr olds who are still at school. A 14yr old that hates it's parents is better than a 14yr old with a child or a criminal record. By the time they have hit a more reasonable age they will have forgiven you and still love you. Teenage Girl Gang or Friends.
Always know who their friends are. Invite them around to the house. Some kids who act older than they are and dress accordingly, may well influence a more naive teen. Neglected teen friends may well know stuff way beyond their years and be eager to share it. Keep discussion open for everything as this can give a better insight as to what is on the table in the world of their friends and therefore what is being discussed by them and your teen.
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