‘Kick-a**’ women in media blamed for violent offending
NZ Herald 30 March 2012
Portrayals of “kick-ass” women in the media are being blamed for an increase the number of women involved in violent offending. Two New Zealand researchers believe the glorification of females in roles showing women exhibiting physically aggressive and violent behaviour are having a negative impact on young women here. The most recent figures from Statistics New Zealand recorded 162 more females were apprehended for violent crimes in 2010 than in 2009. This included apprehensions for assaults, intimidation and threats. University of Canterbury Criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said more women were going out and committing crimes that were traditionally the preserve of men.
…Female youth violence researcher Donna Swift said there were more cases of girls fighting and put footage of themselves on the internet and Facebook. Dr Swift is head researcher of Girls Project – a two-year study of 3500 Year 10 students that is investigating the reasons behind violent behaviour amongst girls. She said that in her experience, many young women turned to violence because it was normalised in their own homes and communities. “Girl fighting often is highly sexualised by the media and males themselves,” she said. ‘One of the most startling we found amongst New Zealand female youths was the change in behaviour exhibited by girls when they reached the ages of 15 and 16 years.” “They either move away from this type of [violent] behaviour or they become more sophisticated in it,” added Dr Swift.