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    • Abstract: Sociological Approaches inStudying DevianceChapter 7 Deviance as objectively given: A deviant is any person who doesnot conform to established social norms.

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Sociological Approaches in
Studying Deviance
Chapter 7 Deviance as objectively given: A deviant is any person who does
not conform to established social norms.
Example: Prostitution and pornography are violations of folkways,
mores, or laws
Prostitution, Pornography, and the
Sex Industry Deviance as socially constructed: A behavior, belief, or condition
is deviant because it is labeled as such.
Example: Street prostitutes are more likely to be labeled deviant than
are people who work for high-priced escort services
This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are
prohibited by law:
• Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Deviance is rooted in the social structure of society: People in
• Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; power define as deviant the behaviors they consider immoral,
• Any rental, lease, or lending of the program. distasteful, or threatening to them.
Example: Prostitutes are more likely to be punished than their
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004
Types of Behavior Viewed as
Prostitution in Perspective
Sexually Deviant in the U.S.
Premarital sex or fornication: Sex between unmarried Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (of oneself or another) for
money or goods without emotional attachment
Extramarital sex or adultery: Sex between married Prostitution has become industrialized with sex as a product
person and a partner not her or his spouse manufactured within the human self
Promiscuous sex: Casual sexual relations with many
partners Prostitution has become normalized as a form of entertainment with
Underage sex or statutory rape: Sexual relations with no legal impediments to promoting it as a commodity
children below the age of consent
Globalization of prostitution is the process by which the sex industry
has become global in scope (international conglomerates of hotel
Prostitution crosses several of these behaviors because it chains, airlines, bars, sex clubs, massage parlors, brothels and
involves promiscuous behavior between two (or more) credit card companies that have an economic interest in the global
sex industry)
people who may be married to other people, and it
sometimes involves underage sex.
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004
Levels of Prostitution Functionalist Perspective on
1. Escorts, or call girls and call boys, earn higher fees and Prostitution
have more selectivity in working conditions and
customers Focus on how deviance, including prostitution, serves important
functions in society:
2. Hustlers, strippers, and table dancers work out of clubs, Quick, impersonal sexual gratification that does not require a
bars, and strip joints; they negotiate sexual favors with continuing relationship
potential customers
A sexual outlet for people who do not have ongoing sexual
3. House girls work in brothels, massage parlors, or other
businesses The opportunity to engage in sexual practices a regular sex partner
might view as immoral or distasteful
4. Streetwalkers publicly solicit customers and charge by
the “trick” Protections for the family as a social institution
Jobs for low-skilled people
5. Women addicted to crack cocaine trade sex for crack
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Conflicting Perspectives on
Prostitution, like other forms of deviance, is
Liberal feminists: A victimless crime that should be
socially constructed decriminalized
Marxist feminists: Linked to the capitalist economy that
A deviant career is similar to other occupations fosters economic inequality and forces women to use
their bodies as commodities
Public labeling of people in such a career as Radical feminists: Trace the roots of prostitution to
deviant—and the person’s acceptance or patriarchy in society
rejection of that label—determines whether he or
Conflict theorists: Focus on the intersection of race,
she stays in that career class, and gender; believe criminalization discriminates
against women, particularly poor women of color
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004
Pornography, Obscenity, and Nature and Extent of Pornography
Erotica Hard-core is material that explicitly depicts sexual
acts and/or genitals
Pornography: Graphic depiction of sexual Soft-core is suggestive but not explicit
behavior through pictures or words in a manner
intended to be sexually arousing
Pornography is profitable to many, including
investors, film makers, and owners of stores that
Obscenity: The legal term for pornographic distribute such materials.
materials that are offensive by generally
accepted standards of decency Technological innovations such as digital media
have increased the variety of pornographic materials
Erotica: Material depicting consensual sexual as well as the methods of distribution.
activities that are sought by and pleasurable to Examples: Movies on “x-rated” cable television
all parties involved channels, dial-a-porn, digitized scans, and private
computer bulletin boards.
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004
Research on Pornography and
Sexual Violence
1970 U.S. Commission on Pornography and Obscenity found no
conclusive links between pornography and sex crimes or antisocial
1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography concluded
that pornography is dangerous, causes sex crimes, increases
aggression in males, inspires sexism, and encourages pedophilia
(adults engaging in sexual intercourse with children)
Most feminist scholars suggest that pornography exploits all women
and sometimes men and children
Nevertheless, studies have not established that watching such films
and videos contributes to aggressive or violent behavior
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2004

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