Thursday, July 22, 2010

Teenage girls set to create a new wave of terror in The Bahamas

Teenage girls 'are new street thugs'
Tribune Staff Reporter

TEENAGE girls look set to create a new wave of terror in the Bahamas, leading psychologist Dr David Allen has warned.

Dr Allen said a Harvard University study predicted that violence among girls was threatening to eclipse violence among teenage boys, who originally "led the way".

He said in the Bahamas there are early signs of this trend, and more needs to be done to look into the situation.

"I write with a sense of pain, confusion; a sense that we have a group of people growing up in our midst who we don't know, we are not studying. I am just amazed at what I am finding out here," said Dr Allen. "The young girls seem to be extremely violent."

One teenager, who attends a New Providence public school, said she agrees that "girls are fighting more than boys", but she said girl fights are less violent.

"The boys fight because of gangs. They would not fight over girls. The boys always fight with weapons. The girls don't usually fight with weapons. The girls do more of the cat fight," said the student.

"Girls mostly fight because they are fighting over boys or they are trying to get known. They go around picking fights, making trouble, so they could be known as the gangster girl. When people are scared of them and don't want to mess with them they can take advantage of people by asking them for money, just money. If you say you don't have lunch money they will try to boss you around and hit you," she said.

"If another girl is talking to the girl's boyfriend she would fight over that. That happens almost daily. Little small fights, like rowing. They would row for a couple days and then they would start fighting."

Several years ago there was concern expressed about a seeming rise in female gangs. The high school student said: "That is not really going on. In my school, ain no girls is check for the gangs. The girls who fight is not really because of the gangs, usually over boyfriends, or (interpersonal) conflicts. The female gang thing did not really catch on."

Teachers know about the fights in school, according to one student, but they stay inside the classrooms and "they don't get in it" in order to "protect themselves".

One junior school principal said she does not believe there has been a rise in girls involved in violence.

"I beg to disagree. To me we are seeing more of the gang violence coming to surface with persons crossing boundaries. According to the area you live in you just cannot go into certain areas. That is what is causing the friction amongst our boys," said the principal.

"Being in the school system we don't see so many girls involved in fights. I seriously can't see it. We would have to look at an in depth study. Dr Allen is probably not seeing a cross section of our community, where he is dealing with students from the upper class," she said.

July 21, 2010