Males and females tend to share many of the same risk factors for offending .
Moreover, these risk factors tend to occur in highly correlated
clusters. Though there are numerous putative risk factors, many of
which overlap, certain of them are particularly salient or even unique
to females.In addition, some analysts have noted an
apparent "gender paradox": despite the lower prevalence of exposure to
risk factors among females in general, those girls who are clinically
referred show more severe behavior problems than boys.
Biological risk factors have often been cited to explain gender
differences in aggressive behavior. Exposure to high levels of
testosterone before birth is more common among males, for example, but
has been linked with aggressive behavior in both males and females
Victimization during childhood or adolescence is a risk factor for both
male and female offending but is a stronger predictor among females.
Research within clinical populations consistently finds that girls are
more often abused than boys, although research focused on the broader
population of community youth has not shown such gender differences in
rates of physical maltreatment