Tahlequah Daily Press


January 26, 2007

Violence among teen girls increasing


“You always have the ‘he said, she said,’ ‘she’s mad at me,’ or ‘she was messing with my boyfriend,’ kind of thing go on,” said Migliorino. “But I can’t say I’ve seen more frequent fights among girls.”

Denise Deason-Toyne, another local attorney who has experience with juvenile cases, believes violence among girls has gone much farther than cat scratches.

“No longer is name-calling or snotty looks and ostracizing those the girls deemed ‘unworthy’ common,” said Deason-Toyne. “It has evolved into physical violence and by groups of girls. The pack mentality, which has been ascribed to by boys, has caught up to the girls.”

Migliorino has only broken up one “girl fight” on campus this year, but he’s noticed a difference between boys and girls when it comes to squaring off for battle.

“Now, this is my opinion, but it seems that when there’s a girl fight, it’s much more violent than guys,” said Migliorino. “They dig in and don’t let go. When guys fight and someone in authority shows up, the fight ends.”

Not true with girls, he said.

“They just don’t hear you. They continue punching, kicking and flailing about,” Migliorino said. “Although I’ve only had to break up one girl fight this year, I must say it was a particularly nasty one. I know, because I was in the middle of it trying to stop it.”

According to the MSNBC report, these fights are not random, isolated incidents. The report blamed the Internet and mass media for sending increasingly misogynist and violent messages to young girls, making it hard for them to work out their differences in appropriate ways.

Deason-Toyne agrees.

“Part of the reason is - and I know people will choke and so what - violence on television and violent video games,” said Deason-Toyne. “More and more video games show ‘sexy’ women who engage in violent behavior as do television programs. Women in television are now allowed to be law enforcement agents, spies - like in ‘Alias’ - and other roles previously left to men. Those roles often have the women using weapons, martial arts, and not just for self-defensive purposes. So the message to girls is, ‘Hey, physical violence is OK; it can help you get what you need.”

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