Moral Panic And Nasty Girl Essay

Submitted By katevandz
Words: 703
Pages: 3

Katelynn Vanderwerff
May 2015
Moral Panic and the Nasty Girl

Sugar and spice and everything nice, the stereotypical idea of what girls should be. For centuries, a painted picture has been given to us to show what is acceptable growing up in today’s society. Recently, feminism, the ideology of equality in woman has been a huge topic, but has it been taken too literally? Are we entering an era of The Nasty Girl, or is it just moral panic? Today, girls are viewed as increasingly nasty and have created a major topic for discussion. Despite the recent attention to female violence, it has always existed. Female violence became a major topic in the mid 1990's with the brutal sexual murders of teenagers committed by and Ontario couple Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. Reena Virk's murder was the tipping point into the belief that something has gone terribly wrong with teenage girls in Canada. Reena Virk was tortured by a group of teenage females before later being killed after being accused of spreading rumors. This incident raised an interest into possible motives including race, appearance and being an easy target. Simple and petty reasons such as rumors spreading were a factor into the thoughts of Canadians that teenage girls have begun to develop into being nasty group. Many factors have a strong influence into the rise of female violence. The metamorphosis from sweet to nasty girl is a product of rap, rock videos, and teen magazines. Incidents publicized in the media create the thought of it being publicly acceptable and the norm. Although “statistics indicate a phenomenal increase in the number of young woman charged with minor or moderate assault in the past 10 years (from 710 charged under the Juvenile Delinquents Act in 1980 to 4,434 under the Young Offenders Act in 1995-1996)”, several researchers indicate that the increase is more a reflection of the youth justice system's change in policy and charging practices than a "real" change in behavior (Barron,
Lacombe.1)" The possibility for this problem to not be a reflection on the teenage female age group, but the punishments applied to the actions performed. Aggressive behavior is determined through individual characteristics, social interactions with families, peers, and romantic relationships. The cycle of abuse is a factor in the development of violent behaviors in both males and females. Family factors are “contributing to the development of aggression including: poor attachment to a parent; poor parental monitoring of children's behaviors; many conflicts within the family; harsh parenting practices, aggressive siblings, and marital problems “ (Barron, Lacombe.5). Other factors that contribute to the development of aggressive behaviors in girls include low school achievement, frequent truancy, negative school