Across America, teenage girls increasingly are resorting to physical assaults, dating violence, bullying, and sexual violence inflicted upon their fellow classmates.
On April 9, April Kuchta of Valparaiso, Ind. reportedly lured a 17-year-old boy with special needs into her house. The boy was led at knifepoint to the kitchen where he was handcuffed behind his back. Kuchta then sexually assaulted the youth and forced him to make humiliating statements while recording the incident on her cell phone.
The boy allegedly was left in handcuffs for two hours covered with a blanket. Kuchta invited others to her house to witness the confinement.
Then an unknown male reportedly freed the boy. He was recaptured at knifepoint and placed back in handcuffs, only to be freed again and bitten on the arm by Kuchta during a struggle for the knife.
Earlier this week the female was charged as an adult on counts of criminal confinement, intimidation, and sexual battery.
April Kuchta is 16 years old.
A mere five days after the shocking assault, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin journeyed to Madison, Wisc. to deliver the keynote speech at a Tea Party rally. Exhorting Republican leaders to push for hefty budget cuts, the charismatic speaker exclaimed the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team should tell “GOP leaders they need to learn how to fight like a girl!”
When I talk with local high school teachers, they tell me the last thing students need is an exhortation to violence. Schoolyard bouts of fisticuffs are becoming more widespread among girls, teachers say.
These observations are supported by a 2010 Department of Justice report, Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, which documents a doubling of female juvenile offenders since 1985. Looking specifically at assaults and other offenses against persons, the female scofflaw rate soared by a sizzling 233%.
Dating violence is another area that cries out for attention.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control sponsors a national survey of high school students to find out whether they have engaged in dating violence. In 2003, the results were even-steven – girls were just as likely as boys to have “hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose” their dating partner.
When the survey was repeated four years later, physical aggression by boys remained the same. But physical aggression by girls surged ahead, making girls 25% more likely than boys to be the instigators: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5704a1.htm#tab11
Then there’s the problem of bullying, which has become so widespread among girls that the federal government now has a website devoted to the problem. The website reprises common tactics of female bullies, such as hair pulling, biting, pinching, or giving someone the “silent treatment.”
The website also states the obvious: “Also, girls sometimes bully boys. Girls may call a boy ‘gay’ or hit a boy because they know he can’t hit them back:” http://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/
Even in the area of sexual assault, girls have now caught up with members of the opposite sex. According to an article published last year by Bruce Taylor in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, the prevalence of sexual violence perpetration (defined as “pushing, grabbing, shoving, or kicking in the private parts”) among 6th and 7th graders in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area is higher among girls than boys.
Alas! Despite these worrisome trends, our society often makes light of female aggression, portraying it as proof of long-awaited female empowerment, and turning it into an atta-girl applause line at a political rally.
Left unchecked, the problem of female lawlessness invariably escalates. Consider the tale of Crystal Mangum of Durham, North Carolina, exotic dancer and drug abuser.
In 2006 Mangum accused three Duke University lacrosse players of sexual assault. Later declaring the players innocent, AG Roy Cooper announced the false-accuser would not be charged with perjury, offering the rather limp explanation that police thought “she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling.”
Three years later, following a run-in with her then-boyfriend, police arrested Mangum on charges of attempted murder, first-degree arson, assault and battery, damage to property, and resisting an officer. Mangum was later sentenced to a wrist-slap punishment of 88 days behind bars.
On April 3, 2011 Reginald Daye, 46, fell into an argument with his girlfriend over rent money. The man was repeatedly stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. Reggie Daye died 10 days later.
This past Monday, Crystal Mangum was indicted on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Reginald Daye.