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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142356 Find in a Library
Title: MORAL MINORITIES: A SELF-REPORT STUDY OF LOW CONSENSUS DEVIANCE
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:37  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1993)  Pages:17-27
Author(s): R W Winslow; P T Gay
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data are presented from a survey of 1,035 students at a large Western university, which suggest that members of minority and low-income groups are actually less deviant than their more affluent, white classmates, at least as regards acts of "low-consensus deviance."
Abstract: The latter are acts that pertain to traditional morality, including sexual activity, alcohol consumption, and drug usage. The ostensible purpose of the survey was to measure student attitudes and self-reported drug, alcohol, and sexual behavior related to the possible risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The survey findings run counter to the many traditional theories and research studies which conclude that deviance is primarily a lower class and minority group phenomenon. There is a large body of literature that suggests that the intervening variable in the transition from minor to serious acts of deviance is contact with the juvenile or criminal justice system. Blacks and the poor have been found much more likely than higher status persons to have been arrested, detained, prosecuted, and institutionalized for the commission of acts of low- consensus deviance. The authors therefore support the theory that formal exposure to law enforcement, as a result of having been either detained, charged, convicted, or incarcerated for the commission of an offense is a better predictor of serious or high-consensus deviance than either race or income. They recommend that government-funded programs that aim at reducing deviance among minorities should be redirected to reducing the consequences of deviance for minorities and the poor, making them no more severe than the consequences of deviance for the nonminority and the nonpoor. 4 tables and 62 references
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory
Index Term(s): Deviance; Indigents; Minorities
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=142356

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