Currently, Swedish teen girls between 15- and 17-years old account for nearly one in five assault cases in which charges are filed, the Metro newspaper reports.
According to statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå), the figure represents about a 50 percent increase since 1994, when the figure was 12 percent.
“We see that development among young girls occurs faster than for buys, even when it comes to the most serious violent crimes,” Sven Granath, a researcher at Brå, told the newspaper.
Granath added that he and his colleagues are unsure how to interpret the trend.
“From a research standpoint, we currently know too little about the causes,” he said.
Criminologist Jerzy Sarnecki said he’s not surprised that young women are responsible for an increasing share of violent crime.
“As young women’s lives become more similar to young men’s, they also start to assume some of the men’s habits, even when it comes to crime,” he told Metro.
“Young women’s violence is primarily directed against other young women.”
Young women are also committing an increasing number of aggravated assaults.
Between 2002 and 2008, the share of 15- to 17-year-old girls who were convicted for aggravated assault increased by 8 percent.