Winner: The 2001 Frederick Milton Thrasher Award (awarded by The American Sociological Association)Youth violence and youth gangs are serious social problems. This groundbreaking study explores how marginal male youth make sense of their physical, sexual, and emotional violence towards those they claim to love—their girlfriends—and how the abuse of girls, gays, and racial minorities is related to the development of familial and gender ideologies in the home and on the street. The construction of masculinity is revealed as an ongoing process, negotiated and developed with the resources at hand. The degree, level, and objects of individual and gang violence are linked to differences in adherence to the patterns of male behaviour and authority the child witnesses in the family and in the gang. The language these male youth use in the in-depth interviews reflects their actions and feelings: it is disturbing, yet powerful. As well as addressing the lack of qualitative information on the subject, this book offers a practical plan for addressing youth violence. It is a valuable resource for students, parents, and professionals.