Since the beginning of the decade, teenage homicides increased by one hundred and
fifty percent (Strout, Brian 1996).
This sharp increase is largely due to the
rapid formation of gang activity throughout the United States (Strout, Brian,
In today's larger cities, gang violence is a reality that people have to
deal with every day.
As gang related crimes increase, officials are trying to find
out why people join and remain loyal to gangs. Unfortunately, experts can only
hypothesize explanations for gang involvement.
However, by studying societys
influence on humans, there is evidence to blame several forces.
include the forces of peer pressure, broken families, gang loyalty, protection, and
First of all, most teens become attracted to gangs by peer pressure and greed.
Estimamates show that forty percent of all gang members joined because their
friends influenced them (Solution for a new year 1996).
Teen gangsters will
pressure peers into becoming part of a gang by making it sound glamorous.
Recruiters will often promise popularity in exchange for their loyalty.
most gang members find popularity, it often means losing close friends to rival
Another crucial factor is the need for money.
A 6 year old kid, who is not
yet a member, receives impressions that he or she could make $200 to $400 for a
small gang job.
In August of 1996, an eleven year old Compton child received $400
for killing a rival classmate (Wesbrach, 1996).
Although money and popularity are
important factors, they are not strong enough to persuade kids to do things that
are strongly against their morals.
Other stronger force such as broken families
and the media, along with peer pressure, works together to persuade young kids to
join a gang.
Second of all, the formation of gangs in cities, and most recently in suburbs, is
facilitated by the lack of community upbringing among parents.
In a fully
developed community, a network of relations can be found among several parents.
The relationship could be a parent, teacher, and minister, depending on the child's