PETALING JAYA - Young Malaysian women are angrier and more hostile than their male counterparts.
However, they do not express their anger and aggression in a physical manner, psychologist and criminologist Dr Geshina Ayu Mat Saat said.
She said young men expressed their anger physically as "it is more culturally acceptable for male youths to act out their anger and hostility".
Young women, she said, expressed the same emotions by running away, mixing with the wrong crowd, becoming mat rempit (street racing) fans or inflicting harm upon themselves.
Dr Geshina's view is based on a finding from a study on aggression among Malaysians conducted last year.
The sample group comprised 235 government servants and 99 incarcerated sexual offenders.
She said women committed crimes due to passion, survival or to protect another person.
"In most cases, young women are influenced by their boyfriends," she said .
"They are more likely to be blackmailed or coerced into proving their love by committing a crime or becoming an accomplice.
"Their involvement in crime continues as these girls don't see a way out," she said, adding that in some cases, girls sold themselves or steal to sustain a rich lifestyle.
She said men were more likely to commit crime for personal satisfaction, monetary gains, status and peer approval.
"However, when drugs are involved, both genders will most often turn to robbery, house break-ins and snatch thefts to support their habit.
"When women cause harm, it's usually due to jealousy or being in a fight," she said.
Young females were involved in about 3 per cent of violent crime cases and 4.5 per cent of property crimes, Dr Geshina said.
She said youths were less likely to be involved in crime if they stayed in school.
"After age 16, parental control and attention lessen, increasing exposure to crime," she said.
Association of Women Lawyers president and activist Meera Samanther said society generally viewed women as "accessories" to a crime, not the "masterminds".
"But as women become more emancipated, they adopt male behaviour, values and norms and seem more powerful.
"These young girls choose to become gang leaders, adopting the dominant culture of violence and ruthlessness," she said, adding that the rise of consumerism and need for instant gratification had led to a rise in crime.
"This is a worrying trend, irrespective of gender."