Deviant

Behavior
A person would be considered to be acting defiantly in society if they are
violating what the significant social norm in that particular culture is. What
causes humans to act certain ways is a disputed topic among researchers for some
time now. There are three types of researchers that have tried to answer this
question. There is the psychological answer, biological answer, and the
sociological answer. With all of the studies that have been performed, no one
group has come up with an exact reason to why people behave deviantly. Although,
sociologists’ theories have not been disproved as often as the
psychologists’ and biologists’ theories because their experiments are too
hard to define and no one definition for deviance is agreed upon by all
experimenters (Pfuhl, 40). My own curiosity to find out what the influences are
behind deviant behavior is the purpose for this paper. We have already discussed
this topic during class in part two, chapter four of the textbook which explains
deviance and crime. This section talks more about deviance being a learned
behavior. I wanted to find out more information to see if biological factors are
also behind this kind of behavior. The most knowledge acquired for why people
act deviantly is from the sociological perspective. There is need for more
research, if possible, in the psychological and biological perspectives, but
there is a lot more known in the sociological viewpoint. The reality that the
definition of deviant behavior is considered different by everyone makes it
complicated and unknown if a truly accurate answer can ever be found (Pfuhl 18).

This is why this topic is important to the study of sociology. Sociologists have
more information, and therefore may be closer to finding the cause. For this
reason, my main focus in this paper is at the sociological stand point of
deviance with some explanations from psychologists and biologists. The family is
the link to socialization in one’s environment (Four Categories 1). In the
family, divorce, conflict within family, neglect, abuse, and deviant parents are
the main vindicates for the offspring’s actions. Early researches first only
thought parental absence affects girls and whites. Modern research finds that
the lack of supervision, or support a child needs is a link to delinquency in
any race. It occurs more in single parent homes because they have a harder time
doing those things. Poverty is also a reason in the family for conflict because
it can lead to both family breakups and delinquency. Children need close,
supportive, relationships with parents. What promotes deviance in the home is
the inhibition to talk to parents. The child may feel that they need to get
attention elsewhere, thus acting deviantly if their parents are not there for
them. Parents can prevent this by being competent, non-punitive (to a point),
non-aggressive or violent, and teach their child high self-confidence. Family
conflict has more damaging effects on children than divorce. Where as parental
death has less impact than divorce (Four Categories 2). When a parent dies a
child at least knows that the parent did not want to leave on his own terms and
probably also did not inflict any abuse to his or her psyche before the parent
passes away. Also, if a child still has contact with both parents after a
divorce, the less likely they will feel neglected and react deviantly. Family
size also leaves an adolescent without the necessary attention they need as an
individual. Middle children are more likely to behave deviantly because they go
unnoticed more than their younger or older siblings. The legal definitions of
abuse and neglect varies from state to state but does, in any form, create
serious consequences for behavior. It occurs in patterns and not just once,
which causes stress, poor self-esteem, aggressiveness, lack of empathy, and
fewer interactions with peers. Child abuse is any physical or emotional trauma
to a child for which no reasonable explanation is found. Neglect refers to the
deprivation that children suffer at the hands of parents (Devinace 1). Such
components that comply to these definitions are non-accidental physical injury
and neglect, emotional abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, and abandonment. Over one
million of the youth in America are subjected to abuse a year. In terms of
sexual abuse one in ten abused are boys and one in three of them are girls. It
is really unknown how many cases go unreported in any area of abuse or neglect a
year. From 1980 to 1986 reported cases did go up sixty percent. The most common
reasons found that parents abuse their children is because this is a learned
function they acquired