Gang scholars have recently turned their attention to a unique and underdeveloped line of inquiry: the victimization of gang members. However, the gang-victimization link remains unclear, especially in terms of how gang men and women are violently victimized in different—or similar—ways. Using a sample of 2,345 adult jail inmates incarcerated in Florida (ages 18–84), this study explores the role of gender in terms of (1) the forms of violent crimes gang members experience more than nongang members, (2) who victimizes gang members, and (3) if gang members’ risky lifestyles explain victimization risk. Findings reveal more similarities than differences among gang men (n = 300) and women (n = 53). Gang men and women are generally victimized by the same violent crimes, and while the offenders who target gang members vary, there are no significant gender differences. Female gang members were significantly more likely to be sexually assaulted by members of their own gang and nonmembers (compared to members of rival gangs). The gang-victimization link remains significant for both men and women even after accounting for demographic characteristics, gang membership, and risky lifestyles—including violent offending.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology