Age, Gender and Gangs
The majority of the gangs are mainly constituted of many youths compared to slightly older adults. One reason for this may be that youths are easily convinced; they easily succumb to pressures of fitting in and gaining an identity from their peers. In an attempt to ‘seem cool’ and be accepted by their peer groups, they end up joining gangs only to realize that the actual circumstances of being an actual gang member are not what they initially perceived. In terms of gender, men are more likely to join street gangs than women. This can be attributed to the uncultured ideology of toxic masculinity. Men feel like they need to mask their emotions, appear solid and unshaken in society’s eyes, and resort to violence as a sign of power. The societal perception of gender can be blamed for this adverse effect.
On the other hand, women are not entirely left out in gang matters; most women claim they joined gangs through their romantic partners (Shaw and Skywalker, 2017). In some instances, women have climbed the ladders and become gang leaders. An example case is Sandra Avila Beltran. According to (BBC, 2015) she ran a multinational drug syndicate in Mexico, which led to her being termed ‘the queen of the Pacific’. She was arrested and extradited to the US, where she was convicted of several criminal charges, including money laundering and drug trafficking. Two key issues arose from Sandra’s case: a woman and a mother, which enabled her to run gang activities in a male smoothly predominated business without the authorities detecting her. Even though she was eventually arrested, she used her gender as a disguise for a long time.