Girls, gangs and violence: Assessing the evidence

Published: 2009

Batchelor, S. (2009) Girls, gangs and violence: assessing the evidence.Probation Journal, 56 (4). pp. 399-414. ISSN 0264-5505 (doi:10.1177/0264550509346501)


Current evidence on girls and gangs in the UK is considerably hampered by a set of methodological issues. The first of these stems from the difficulties associated with defining what constitutes a ‘gang’ or being a ‘gang member.’ A second set of issues arise from the fact that much of the qualitative research in this area is conducted by male adult researchers utilizing male gang members and adult practitioners as their source of information about females. The findings of such studies are challenged by research with girls and young women, which demonstrates that group involvement can be both rewarding and destructive for girls.