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Children, Sexuality, and the Law$
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Sacha M. Coupet and Ellen Marrus

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814723852

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814723852.001.0001

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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Definitely Not the Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

(p.87) 4 Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Children, Sexuality, and the Law

Ellen Marrus

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the specific challenges faced by girls within the juvenile justice system—challenges that stem from their gendered identities and perceptions about female sexuality. It also examines how girls' sexual agency is criminalized, rendering girls' sexual conduct non-normative or deviant. Unlike boys, girls are expected to remain pure until marriage and not to explore their sexuality. If girls act on their sexual curiosity, they are considered promiscuous and are subject to delinquent behavior. Moreover, once in the juvenile justice system, they are treated differently than their male counterparts. Existing treatment programs to rehabilitate juveniles were developed primarily for male offenders, meaning that girls' treatment and rehabilitation needs often go unmet.

Keywords:   juvenile justice system, gendered identities, female sexuality, sexual curiosity

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