Something tells me Roger Ailes sent a memo to the chyron writers this morning with a suggested line for their psychobabble segment about the 12-year old girls in Wisconsin who allegedly conspired to stab a classmate and leave her for dead, because it sounds just like something he would applaud.
Needless to say, Russell never said that girls are "more likely" to have hateful minds or be prone to violence than boys, as this chyron implies. He was only addressing these two girls.
However, since someone at Fox News seems confused on this, here's a clarification: Not only does the evidence show that girls are no more likely to be "mean girls" than boys are likely to be "mean boys," but juvenile arrest records show that girls are far less likely to be violent. As Melissa Dahl at Science of Us explained, only 8 percent of juveniles convicted of murder are girls. Interestingly, the expert that Dahl interviewed, criminologist Kathleen M. Heide, said that girls are more likely to kill someone they know to resolve a personal conflict, whereas boys are more likely to kill strangers in the commission of another crime. This fits into what Russell was saying about this particular attempted murder and its likely motivations.
With violent crime overall, while the number of girls offending is rising in proportion to boys offending, it's still a low percentage: Twenty-four percent of arrests of minors for aggravated assault in 2005 were girls, compared to 15 percent in 1985. And while there is some evidence that girls may be more likely to commit assault than in the past, as Princeton Brookings researchers warned in the 2008 summary of research findings, this can be "partly explained by the fact that while all violent crime has decreased, the decline for boys has been more dramatic."
Ailes has famously said in interviews that he watches Fox News with the sound muted and only unmutes if he sees something on the chyron he thinks is worth watching. Hence, the massive condemnation of children everywhere for what two adolescent girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin allegedly did.
Fox News, we all know where the hateful little minds live. Don't pretend it's Wisconsin.
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