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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


SANT'ANNA, Ana Rosária  and  LOPES, Marta Julia Marques. Homicides among teenagers in the city of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil: vulnerability, susceptibility, and gender cultures. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.6, pp.1509-1517. ISSN 1678-4464.

The authors present a quantitative and qualitative study on homicides among teenagers in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, based on a historical series during the 1990s and the life and death histories in this group, with a special focus on 1997. In that year there were 68 homicides in which the victims were from 10 to 19 years old. Of the 68, 62 were males and only 6 females, or a ratio of 10:1, showing that young males are more vulnerable and susceptible to being murdered. The data indicate that cause of death is influenced by gender culture and that homicides are based on power and status symbols characterizing a kind of virility. This expression of virility in the shaping of violence also appears in the domination of the female body observed in homicides with young women as the victims. The life and death histories of these teenagers highlight the pertinence of the gender-based analysis as a theoretical-analytical category, in addition to analyses considering socioeconomic aspects and social inequity.

Keywords : Homicides; Adolescence; Gender.

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