6 Summary of Session 5
The fact that girls and young women are a minority in the youth justice system means that their needs and circumstances are sometimes neglected, misunderstood or misinterpreted. Gender stereotypes about girls and young women are increasingly open to challenge. Gender is not a symmetrical relationship between two biological sexes but a hierarchical relationship where men tend to have more power and influence than women. In this session you have explored the ways in which gender shapes the youth justice system, the experiences and prospects of girls and young women. You have explored ways that the system is changing to recognise difference, and this work continues in the next session where questions of race, racism and ethnicity are explored.
The main learning points of this fifth session are:
- There are relatively few girls and young women involved in youth justice systems, compared to boys.
- The characteristics of crime and offending by girls and young women are different to those of boys and young men.
- Youth justice systems need gender specific interventions to respond effectively to girls’ and young women’s needs.
- Stereotypes about girls’ and young women’s involvement in crime and offending behaviour are common.
In the next session you will explore how changes have become necessary for youth justice systems in relation to racism and ethnicity.
You can now go to Session 6.