[ 73] Abbey challenges the figure of 90 gang members said to
be between 13 and 17 years of age in what was Totten’s biggest
study up to the time of trial and also his doctoral dissertation:
Guys, Gangs and Girlfriend Abuse. Abbey submits that 90 is a
misrepresentation and that a review of the study shows that the
accurate figure is 22, thus reducing Totten’s sample size from
290 to 222. I agree with Abbey’s submission.
[ 74] In Gager, Totten was extensively cross-examined on his
use of the figure of 90. He gave two explanations, neither of
which I find convincing.
[ 75] His first explanation was that the figure of 90 gang members reflected a continuum of gang involvement. Some were hard
core gang members and others “belong[ed] to anti-social peer
groups where violence was common”. In this study (at p. 58),
Totten does refer to “a continuum of male peer groups/gangs,
spanning from ‘groups of friends’ to ‘hard-core criminal gangs’”.
[ 76] But Totten produced two charts (at pp. 59 and 60), one
distinguishing between “abusers” and “non-abusers”, and the
other characterizing abusive behaviour in various situations, for
example, living at home or in school. In each chart, Totten identifies among the 90 participants the number of “gang members”.
That number is 22. And in his chart distinguishing between
abusers and non-abusers, only 60 participants are said to be
abusers. For the 90 participants to be gang members, as Totten
claimed in his evidence, all 30 non-abusers would have to be
considered gang members. That would be surprising and, in my
view, highly unlikely.
[ 77] Totten does not define “gang member” in his study but in
his charts he considered that only 22 qualified. And on any reasonable definition of a gang member it is not realistic to think
people in a “group of friends” would be classified as gang members. Further, in his report in Gager, Totten defines street gangs
as “visible, hardcore groups that come together for profit-driven
criminal activity and severe violence”. That definition obviously
restricts the number of gang members in his study to 22.
[ 78] That 22 is the correct figure is also evident later in
Totten’s study. Of the 90 participants, he singled out 30 for in
depth interviews. He has a chart (at p. 166) dividing the 30 into
“gang members” and “peer group members”. Only 17 of the
30 are classified as gang members, again showing that the figure of 90 is an inflated figure.
[ 79] Totten’s second explanation for using the figure 90 was
even less convincing: it was nonsensical. Totten claimed that his
definition of gang member had changed over time. It was broader
when he did the study than when it was 12 years later when he