The differential perceptions of male and female deviants
Hepburn (1975) stated that the definition of the audience determines whether deviance exists so that societal reaction can take place. However, the audience has not received systematic attention in the literature of the sociology of deviance. The existing literature examines mostly the reactions of official social control agents. Consequently, the purpose of this research is to determine the stereotypes held by a group besides social control agents. Further, the research explores whether the sex of the deviant affects the stereotypes associated with deviant behaviors. The data were gathered from a sample of college students attending a small liberal arts college. Twelve types of deviants representing a wide variety of behavior patterns were evaluated using an Osgood semantic differential scale. The data show that the respondents perceived each type of deviant as having a different stereotype and that the stereotypes did not overlap. Furthermore, the stereotypes were not complex ones, nor all negative. The data further indicate that the sex of the deviant was influential in how people responded to that deviant. © 1991 by the Ohio Valley Sociological Society.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
King, Kathleen Piker and Clayson, Dennis E., "The differential perceptions of male and female deviants" (1991). Faculty Publications. 4549.