Many factors influence girls to join Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) or any other gang for that matter.
Studies reveal that a lot of them decided to do so because they wanted a better life and to move away from the struggles of poverty – especially in areas where essential services and equal distribution of wealth are mostly just fantasy – as well as to escape from child abuse and unemployment or for the promise of easy access to drugs.
Some joined a gang to search for protection and affection, fulfill the social need to belong to a community, find works for a living, and feel independence.
Although men and women mention similar factors, their circumstances during gang initiation and subsequent life inside the group can be entirely different.
In MS-13, females are rarely considered equal members to their male counterparts; they are subjected to exploitation from the get-go.
Life for women inside the MS-13 is often filled with the same adversities they wanted to escape from in the first place.
10 Initiation Ritual Options
MS-13 gang initiation process is violent as it involves the recruit taking a beating by existing members for about thirteen seconds (the gang incorporates the number 13 to nearly everything). That is for a male recruit.
Women can undergo the same process as men for the initiation or have sexual intercourse with gang members instead.
Most (if not all) women chose to take a beating over collective sexual rape to preserve their dignity, at least during the initiation. It also helped them earn more respect in the gang than those who offered sexual intercourse.
9 Bad Boy Allure
The traditional membership rule in MS-13 does not allow women to join the gang. This rule has grown more irrelevant by the day, starting in the United States.
When Central America’s MS-13 still upheld the unwritten law, some cliques further north had already broken it.
Some women were attracted to MS-13 not to tempt quick money and escape homelessness, but the reputation as the world’s most dangerous gang. It is the new “bad boy” in girls’ eyes, and they wanted to be seen as essential parts of it.