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
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