This article is an empirical examination of gender bias in the handling of seriously delinquent youths at three stages of the juvenile justice system: arrest, adjudication, and disposition. The sample included 391 Black and White 14- to 17-year-old youths (100 girls and 291 boys), all heavily involved in crime when they were interviewed on the street during the period 1985-1987 in Miami for a study of drug/crime relationships. The tests for gender bias used controls for pertinent factors identified in prior research: race, type of offense, and level of involvement (for arrests, number of crimes done; for adjudication, age at arrest; and for dispositions, number of prior adjudications). Results indicated a number of significant differences in male and female juvenile justice outcomes. Discussion of these findings emphasizes two offense-particular reasons for gender differences which are not generally discussed, evaluates the evidence of system gender bias for this sample, and traces the methodological implications of this study for future research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology