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SOCB51H3 (51)
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Appearance and Deliquency.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Joe Hermer

Appearance and Deliquency: Jill Leslie Rosenbaum and Meda Chesney-Lind  Women are judged by culturally derived standards of attractiveness o Research has shown that perception of physical appearance can have a significant impact on an individual’s success in a variety of endeavors. These endeavors include dating opportunities, the initiation of relationships, teachers’ evaluations of students and corporate success  Role of appearance in judgements of criminal responsibility and the punishment of behavior o Physical attractiveness influences judgements of wrongdoing o Dion found adult judgements of children’s transgressions were affected by the attractiveness of the child, same with transgressions that were mild or severe, and also antisocial behavior o Sentences given to the offender are conditioned by the appearance of the offender such as burglary in which attractive females receive greater leniency than unattractive offenders o However when offenses were attractive related attractive offenders receive harsher sentences than their unattractive counterparts o Also indicates that when a female offender uses her attractiveness to assist in the commission of a crime attractive individuals were more likely to be found guilty  Studies of appearance also demonstrate that society has higher expectations for attractive individuals; some of these expectations pertain to women exclusively. o For example attractive women are assumed to be more feminine and have a more socially desirable personality and as a result they are assumed to have greater overall happiness in their personal social and professional lives  Although the lives of attractive women are assumed to be far superior to those of less attractive women it is assumed attractive women have less integrity and managerial opportunities for them may be hindered o In fact Heilman and Sarawatari concluded that women with more masculine characteristics are believed to have greater ability than women with feminine characteristics o Thus although attractive women are thought to be more feminine they are also thought to be less well suited for nontraditional female roles o Thus although attractive women are thought to be more feminine they are also thought to be less well-suited for nontraditional female roles.  Judges interested in appearance before the court o Judge’s interest in a runaway girl was whether they were clean when they were away from home and if so may be engaging in prostitution and appearance was taken to be considered as sexual morality or immorality and sexual moral activities were noted more for girls than boys  Attractiveness double edged  More complex for women in the criminal justice system for offences directly/indirectly related to their sexuality  There has been ongoing interest by judges and other court workers in the sexual activity of girls o Clear bias against girls deemed sexually active and a harsh official response to misbehavior o ½ of the female delinquents and 1/5 of the male delinquents were sent to reformatories o In Honolulu during 1929-1930 over half of the girls referred to court were charged with immorality which meant evidence (or inferences drawn) of sexual intercourse o Other evidence of exposure was gynecological examinations and doctors who understood
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