Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
L. Susan Williams
In January 2006, a 14-year-old White girl burned down her family's home in Paris, Texas, and received probation. Three months later, a 15-year-old Black girl, Shaquanda Cotton, was sentenced to 7 years for pushing a school hall monitor. These incidents provide a basis for examining the relationship between race and female violence, as well as the myth of the “new violent woman.” Since 1980, the number of women incarcerated increased at double the rate of men, and much hype surrounds the idea of a “new violent woman. “However, women still represent a small percentage of arrests. As of 2007, 107,500 women were incarcerated, comprising 7% of prison populations. Still, the number of women arrested represented a 7.4% increase for the decade, while male arrests decreased 7.6%. The percentage change for women, while important, is modest considering the relatively small base, and increases are not due to violent offenses. The most ...