"We value all individuals' unique talents, respect their dignity and strive to foster their commitment to excellence in our work. Our community's strength depends on the unity and diversity of our...

"We value all individuals' unique talents, respect their dignity and strive to foster their commitment to excellence in our work. Our community's strength depends on the unity and diversity of our people, on the free exchange of ideas, and on learning, living and working harmoniously." How is this statement critical to the prevention and control of female juvenile delinquency?

Expert Answers
caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We should first acknowledge that it is unlikely there will be any single critical factor in addressing a complex societal issue like juvenile delinquency. Speaking strictly in terms of my own experience, different facets and portions of the spectrum of responses will work for some, but not all, instances, which means that most choices will exacerbate one problem while relieving another. This being said, how can a statement of purpose truly be critical to prevention and control of any issue, let alone female juvenile delinquency?

There are a few caveats to address. First, it is clear that the words themselves carry no legal weight; this is more philosophy than law, and its effectiveness probably depends strongly upon one's agreement with its precepts. For example, not all treat diversity as a strength, or agree upon the exact terms of "free exchange of ideas."

We should also be cautious, particularly now that we are practicing a greater degree of social scrutiny when it comes to gender/sex identities, that we define "female" -- are we talking about societal pressures that shape female identities, or the biological effects of having two X chromosomes?

Taking these things into account, we should consider what factors most significantly lead to female juvenile delinquency, and see how this prompt can prevent and control them. The pdf linked below contains a study on female juvenile delinquency, and suggests that girls are significantly affected by poverty and the conditions surrounding it, and family instability, particularly critical and negative mothers and harsh or inconsistent discipline.

It is difficult for a mere statement of purpose to address socioeconomic difficulties. The statement under consideration may be unsuitable for this purpose, or only be able to address it in an ancillary manner. However, the statement is well-suited to addressing the issue of critical mothers and harsh or inconsistent discipline. For example, this statement could be used as a foundation for a communication class; communication is largely about getting what we want, and parents should be able to recognize when this is not occurring and therefore a change is warranted. We may utilize the statement to teach empathy; for example, is an insult intended or merely perceived? If perceived, this may be an opportunity to learn (respect dignity and diversity) rather than punish.

Another important element of this statement is its emphasis upon community, although without appropriate legal backing this may lead to conflicts between parents and community members. By emphasizing the interrelatedness of individuals and community, this statement calls upon everyone to recognize the ways in which they interact and how those interactions give us purpose and value. Female juvenile delinquency may be borne of a lack of purpose and value, and so it is incumbent upon the community to recognize and address this when it is encountered.

A statement such as this may also be critical when it comes to actually forming laws; it serves as a means of interpreting specific legal actions and determining, according to the judgment of a specific body, whether that action meets the standards laid out in this statement. In this interpretation, the vagueness of certain terms may actually be an advantage, as it allows the community to come to adaptive interpretations of the statement according to different circumstances as well as unforeseen future events.