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Girl Gangs Cause Trouble In New York City

July 16, 1961 - Girl gangs in New York City now pose almost as grave a problem as the boy gangs they follow. There are 8,000 boys in gangs. The number of girl gang members is estimated at 3,000 by the Youth Board. Nearly all of the girl gangs are units of boy gangs and use a variant of the same name. If the boys called themselves the Dead Beats, for example, the girls call themselves the Dead Beats Debs or Debutantes. The girls' role in gangs includes: Weapon carrying and concealing; intimacy with the boys; prostitution to obtain money for the boys' narcotics; courier and errand chores. Hugh K. Johnson, chief of the Youth Board's street club project, said, "The girl gangs do not have presidents, war counselors and so on. The girl with the highest status is simply the girl with the boyfriend who ranks highest in the boy gang." Mr. Johnson noted that some girls deliberately started rumors to stir trouble among the boys. "Girls claim they have been approached or mistreated by boys from other gangs to create excitement," he said.


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