Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nurture Beats Nature This Round

From Science Daily:

A new study of more than 7,800 high school sophomores from 40 suburban and rural communities in seven states examined 22 risk and protective factors associated with serious delinquency. It found that boys reported higher levels of risk and lower levels of protection for 18 of the factors than did girls. In addition, boys were twice as likely to engage in seven of the eight serious delinquent behaviors that were measured.

"Boys come into contact with risk factors in their families, school, peers and in their personal attributes more frequently and are sometimes influenced by them more strongly than are girls," said Abigail Fagan, lead author of the study and an intervention specialist with the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group.

All of the risk and protective factors examined were significantly related to serious delinquency for both boys and girls, according to Fagan.

And here's why corrections sentencing problems will still be on our agenda generations from now:

Fagan added that there are many similarities in what leads boys and girls to engage in delinquency, which a is good reason to include both genders in prevention programs.

"There are many effective programs that lower rates of delinquency and they also reduce drug use. It makes sense to implement these programs to get more bang for our buck because the same risk and protective factors are involved in drug use. However, we do need to develop more programs because there are not a lot of prevention programs directed at high school students."

Emphasis mine, of course.

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