Gender, sexuality, power and drug acquisition strategies among adolescent girls who use meth

Vera Lopez, Nancy Jurik, Stacia Gilliard-Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study drew on social construction of gender and reflexive methodological approaches to examine how adolescent girls procured meth within the context of relationships with boys and men. A total of 18 incarcerated adolescent girls, aged 14 to 17 years, were interviewed about their meth-using experiences. The findings indicate that girls used five relationship strategies and one nonrelationship strategy to procure meth on the streets. Close examination revealed that girls' meth procurement strategies, with few exceptions, occurred in ways resonant with culturally dominant views of femininity (referred to hereafter as emphasized femininities). However, most girls presented themselves in interviews as breaking out of culturally prescribed constraints and crafting their own version of femininity. However, their agency was contextualized or limited by the social power relations that surrounded them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-251
Number of pages26
Journalfeminist criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Adolescent substance use
  • Drug acquisition strategies
  • Female adolescent substance use
  • Methamphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Law


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