Gender, Orientation to Authority and Delinquency among Adolescents: A Cross‐cultural Perspective

Journal of Moral Education 18 (2):112-117 (1989)
Abstract Emler and Reicher (1987) have argued that non?compliant or delinquent behaviour amongst adolescents is due to a failure, not in moral development, but in the efficacy of legal socialization in inculcating favourable attitudes towards institutional authority. They assert that consistent with this position, female adolescents are not only less prone to delinquent behaviour, but also more favourably disposed towards institutional authorities and ideologically more conservative. However, an examination of recent studies comparing male and female attitudes toward authority among adolescents shows that there is only limited support for this assertion. Whilst studies conducted in Britain have suggested that, in general, female adolescents are more supportive of institutional authority than their male counterparts, elsewhere, in Australia and Canada, some results have indicated that there is little or no such attitudinal difference between the sexes. Moreover, in some comparisons, in Sri Lanka and Sweden, female adolescents have been reported as being less supportive of authority or less conservative than males. It is concluded that the relationship between gender and attitude to institutional authority tends to vary cross?culturally, and may depend upon the kind of socialization to which the sexes are exposed
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DOI 10.1080/0305724890180204
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