Good girls gone bad

Forde: females being misled into violence

Criminologist Yolande Forde is blaming poor female role models in homes and communities for what appears to be an upsurge in violence and other deviant behaviour among schoolgirls.

Forde’s comments to Barbados TODAY come against the backdrop of numerous social media postings of brawls involving girls in school uniforms, some posing with guns in and out of school attire, and of females in their early teens kissing and professing a preference for persons of the same sex.

“Children model their behaviour on the adults that they see around,” said Forde a criminologist of 22 years experience who specialises in policy initiatives relating to crime reduction strategies, correctional, remedial and judicial reform.

“One of the factors is that the women in their immediate sphere of influence are not necessarily modelling to them, or displaying to them, appropriate ways in which to resolve conflict.

“It might very well be the case whereby they live in homes, or an environment, where an aggressive response to any situation that is not amenable to them is the norm.”

She said that such surroundings make a child believe that violent responses are ‘appropriate’.

Throughout her comments, Forde stressed that reports and social media postings of deviant behaviour among teenagers, represent, “an apparent increase of young girls involved in particularly violent activities”, and indicated there is no supporting statistics to conclude that these acts are on the rise.

But, she said of those abnormal acts of teenage girls seen on social media, “there could be a number of reasons for this . . . This is not traditional with girls.

“This is something that might have been more typical among at-risk young males, but now we’re seeing – it might not be a trend – at least some girls who are engaging in this type of behaviour.”

Forde spoke of a faulty process of socialisation in the environment of these young people.

“Certain norms, values and mores are not necessarily passed on to our young women by the persons in their spheres of influence, namely their home and immediate community.

“They might also be coming from a community where violent response is normative. That is the normal way in which disputes are settled.

“This is a show of power, and they are learning that an aggressive response is okay, and this is why some of our young women may be actually choosing this method . . . ‘I can intimidate you by pushing a gun in your face’”.

Forde warned that these actions of young girls may point to low value systems among Barbados’ teenage females.

“Persons who are achieving in other areas have a greater sense of self-esteem and self-respect, but you are dealing basically with young women, or girls, who now see that use of violence is the way to show that you cannot ‘dis me’ and get away with it.”

The former National Council on Substance Abuse manager, made these comments following her participation in a St Michael School Alumni-organised panel discussion on: Crime And Violence And Its Effect On Today’s Youth.

“Crime is not some sort of abstract non-representational phenomenon, “she  said during that discussion, and added, “Behaviours are essentially formed based on one’s thinking, one’s attitude and one’s perceptions.”

She said that behaviour was formed by a person’s environment, the norms and values that are passed on from one generation to the other, “Otherwise described as the process of socialisation.”

“The primary institution of socialisation is not the church, the school; it is the family.

“People usually do not wake up one morning with a propensity for aggression and violence.

“Very often people, including students, exhibit serious behavioral problems cultivated over years of negative socialisation.

“These students often come from culturally deprived dysfunctional homes where parents have limited parenting skills.”

4 Responses to Good girls gone bad

  1. Ezekiel Baker
    Ezekiel Baker October 17, 2015 at 3:43 am

    The Caribbean culture is built on Christianity, and a strong belief in justice, and morality, it’s this belief which enable our forefathers to survive the harshness of slavery, the Caribbean community/ society, has forgotten its roots, and had embrace and taken on all the nastiness of of every others culture, and in turn destroying it’s own selves.

  2. jrsmith October 17, 2015 at 6:07 am

    @ , Ezekiel, B, hail, hail, built on Christianity, the white mans religions, justice what justice , slaves had no rights to justice. slaves were beaten, shot , thrown to the sharks , hung from trees , burnt, who came to the slaves rescue. where was god and Jesus then , the physical part, then came the mental shift,

    The new generation of the past slave master, brought the bible, again to enslave us blacks mentally, to continually reminding the blacks who is in charge. this effect makes us so scared to even make comments or question , the bible and think this blonde haired blueyed person is coming from the clouds to rescue us all, and the cycle, goes on and on and on.

    Why blacks want reparation, when they have a promise, of heaven, with milk and honey, flowing from the pearly gates.


  3. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield October 17, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Guidance is lacking .It starts from the home .Many females would tell you ,you cannot tell them how to raise their children .Something if not done well results in what we are seeing now .Many are not willing to speak sternly to children .From very early the yare seen as lil man and lil woman .Dress and all .Many are given responsibility early .Responsibilities that belong to adults .Hence when they reach a little older like in their teens the horse with the cart run away long . It is anything goes for many of our children not females alone .We are reaping what was sown .Simple

  4. Winstonb October 17, 2015 at 8:27 am

    JR Smith can you be serious blaming Christianity for the deviant behavior in our country. Show us the evidence that the perpetrators attend church or even read the Bible for that matter. It would be more constructive for us to put heads together to find solutions and save our children from this self destructive behavior rather than talk trash.


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