SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: This paper explores the tension between vocabularies of motive provided by a serial sex offender in his narrative construction of his nonconsensual sexual activity. Current discourses on the topic emphasize the efficacy of social control measures and behavioral and pharmacological interventions. There is a dearth of sociological literature exploring the social meanings of sexual offense. Employing a symbolic interactionist approach to a sex offender’s account of self provides an opportunity for making visible the discursive construction of social processes. Deploying broad gender stereotypes in depictions of the women against whom he offended, the case presented here also relied on three dominant therapeutic constructions of the sexual deviant, the psychosocial, the addiction/compulsion model, and the bio-psychiatric—all of which neglect the gendered aspect of his offenses. Positing himself as a “true sex offender” and voluntarily taking hormonal suppressants that rendered him impotent, he was the ideal subject of bio-psychiatric discourse. The paper analyses his narrative in terms of contrasting notions of gender and deviance, masculinity and medicalization, and explores the ways language of institutionally supported interventions are used to make meaningful both normal and deviant identities, while disengaging from gender discourses.
Abstract: In this article, the author examines how school- and district-level racial/ethnic and socioeconomic compositions influence schools’ use of different types of criminalized and medicalized school discipline. Using a large data set containing information on over 60,000 schools in over 6,000 districts, the authors uses multilevel modeling and a group-mean modeling strategy to answer several important questions about school discipline. First, how do school- and district-level racial and ethnic compositions influence criminalized school discipline and medicalization? Second, how do levels of school and district economic disadvantage influence criminalized school discipline and medicalization? Third, how does district-level economic disadvantage moderate the relationship between school racial/ethnic composition and criminalized school discipline and medicalization? The results generally support hypotheses that schools and districts with relatively larger minority and poor populations are more likely to implement criminalized disciplinary policies, including suspensions and expulsion or police referrals or arrests, and less likely to medicalize students through behavioral plans put in place through laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, results from cross-level interaction models suggest that district-level economic disadvantage moderates the influence of school racial composition on criminalized school discipline and medicalization.