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
Tonya Y. Willingham & Willie M. Brooks
Much of the literature available on gangs has largely ignored the presence and significance of female gangs. Historically, researchers viewed female gangs as poor imitations of male gangs. The study of female gangs has become increasingly important because of the rise in the number of female gangs in recent years. It is appropriate that female gangs be included in this body of work because of the prevalent role that race plays in the makeup of both male and female gangs and because of the proliferation of the female gang in modern society. The recent history of female gangs can be traced back to the 1960s when female members acted as helpmates to male gang members. Although the females considered themselves to be authentic gang members, they were most often limited to duties such as sewing gang insignia on male members' jackets, running errands, and relaying messages, or they were restricted ...