See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It


From one of America's leading authorities on juvenile violence and aggression, a groundbreaking investigation of the explosion in violent behavior by girls: its causes, consequences, and possible solutions

"Teen Hazing Turns Vicious," "Gang Beats Man Senseless," "Teenagers Indicted for Murder," "School Shooter Sought Revenge for Put-downs," "Youth Arrested in Murder Plot Aimed at Parents." The headlines don't seem remarkable: juvenile violence has always been with us. What is new is that these stories aren't ...

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From one of America's leading authorities on juvenile violence and aggression, a groundbreaking investigation of the explosion in violent behavior by girls: its causes, consequences, and possible solutions

"Teen Hazing Turns Vicious," "Gang Beats Man Senseless," "Teenagers Indicted for Murder," "School Shooter Sought Revenge for Put-downs," "Youth Arrested in Murder Plot Aimed at Parents." The headlines don't seem remarkable: juvenile violence has always been with us. What is new is that these stories aren't about boys, they're about girls. Just ten years ago, almost ten boys were arrested for assault for every girl. Now the ratio is four to one, and it's dropping rapidly. What's going on with American girls? See Jane Hit is the first big-picture answer to this crucial question, a groundbreaking examination of this hidden epidemic by one of America's most respected authorities on juvenile violent aggression.

In See Jane Hit, Dr. James Garbarino shows that the rise in girls' violence is the product of many interrelated cultural developments, several of which are largely positive. Girls have learned to express themselves physically in organized sports-thirty years ago, the number of boys playing organized sports was more than ten times greater than the number of girls; now we're almost at 1:1. In a number of other ways, too, the cultural foot binding that has kept girls from embracing their own physical power has been removed, which is largely to be celebrated. But nothing happens in isolation, and there's rarely such a momentous societal shift with absolutely no downside. One problem is that girls aren't being trained to handle their own physical aggression the way boys are: our methods of child-rearing culture include all sorts of mechanisms for socializing boys to express their violence in socially acceptable ways, but with girls we lag very far behind. At the same time, the culture has become more toxic for boys and girls alike, and girls' sexuality is linked with violence in new and disturbing ways.

Ultimately, this brilliant, far-reaching examination of physical aggression and the "new" American girl shows us there is much we can do differently. See Jane Hit is not just a powerful wake-up call; it's a clear-eyed, compassionate prescription for real-world solutions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Garbarino, a respected authority on juvenile violence and aggression (Lost Boys), takes a fascinating look at girls getting physical-from the assertive physicality expressed by healthy girls to criminal violence on the part of troubled ones. He lauds girls' release from the obligation to be "ladylike" in an increasingly egalitarian society, a "new freedom... [that] can boost self-esteem and self-confidence." But at the other end of the spectrum are girls who are more vulnerable to today's increasingly "toxic social environment"-a deleterious entanglement of hypersexuality and materialism-and prone to asocial violence. Garbarino cites U.S. Justice Department statistics that the rate of girls arrested for assault is approaching that of boys. Examining biology, early childhood development and the effects of mass media, he builds on the work of other psychologists and social historians while adding texture to his accessible narrative with first-person accounts of girls' experiences-X-rated name-calling, punching, brawls with baseball bats. Society, he asserts, should allow girls to be "physical and popular in a nonsexual and nonmaterialistic way." What girls need, he concludes in this evenhanded but eye-opening book, is positive identity, a sense of rootedness and spirituality, and benevolent adult involvement in their lives. (On sale Feb. 20) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Previously, Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence and Rachel Simmons's Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls assessed the burgeoning physical and relational aggression in girls. Garbarino (chair, humanistic psychology, Loyola Univ.; Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them) continues that work here but goes beyond those previous books in elucidating the cultural underpinnings. His research includes interviews with female students at Cornell University who relate chilling stories of childhood bullying and abuse that confound the stereotypes of feminine behavior. Garbarino attributes these behavioral shifts to increased participation in sports, escalating media depictions of violence, and general societal shifts toward rewarding aggression. His solution is to provide education to inculcate prosocial assertiveness rather than destructive violence. Ironically, he depicts the problem so powerfully that his reasonable solution pales by comparison. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Law Sch. Lib., PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641866920
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/16/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Garbarino, Ph.D., holds the Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychlogy at Loyola University Chicago, and from 1985 to 1994 he was president of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Garbarino has served as consultant or adviser to a wide range of organizations, including the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the National Institute for Mental Health, the American Medical Association, the National Black Child Development Institute, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the FBI.

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Table of Contents

1 The new American girl gets physical 3
2 To hit or not to hit : are girls and boys wired differently for aggression? 32
3 Girls unleashed 65
4 From powder puff to powerpuff girls : how pop culture celebrates aggressive girls 90
5 The evolution of mean : the new language of girl violence 114
6 Cinderella strikes back : girls who are sad, mad, and hurt 141
7 Girls who kill ... themselves or others 174
8 Lifelines and safety nets : helping girls get physical without getting hurt or hurting other people 197
9 Female aggression in the twenty-first century : what lies ahead for the new American girl? 229
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