Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rebecca D. Petersen
Criminologists are increasingly exploring the nature and extent of gangs in the United States, especially gang activity among females. Highlights from the 2004 National Youth Gang Survey found gangs, gang members, and gang-related homicides predominately concentrated in large cities with more than 250,000 people, although even in rural counties one in eight law enforcement agencies reports gang problems. International interest in the subject is also growing. Because of terrorism, global migration, and a plethora of technological advancements, there is now a greater understanding of gangs from both American and global perspectives. The predominance of males in gangs should not distract from expanding research on females in gangs. With an apparent increase in female gang involvement, their characteristics and experiences deserve more careful investigation not just in the United States but worldwide, especially in neighboring Mexico. The 2000 U.S. Census identified Hispanics as the largest minority group in the country (12.5 ...