Since the late 1980s the number of adolescent girls - "gang babes" - involved in gangs has risen dramatically. They have proven to be as violent as, if not more violent than, their male counterparts, and show less remorse for the consequences of their violence.
Rarely are such gangs organized crime units, more often they are delinquent as a means for obtaining 'kicks'. Increasingly street gangs are involved in drug trafficking, intimidation and violence. Some gangs have initiation rituals, including shooting people.
Not all gangs are as well-organized and hierarchical as the Crips and Bloods in Los Angeles, but most offer a social haven for outcasts who crave a sense of belonging. Gangs are closely related to socioeconomic status, unemployment and a generalized feeling of disenfranchisement.