Paternalism and the female status offender: Remanding the juvenile justice double standard for desexualization

William A. Reese, Russell L. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Using an interactionist conception of delinquency construction, this article empirically examines the commonly assumed, male dominance explanation of the existence of paternalistic punity meted out to female status offenders by juvenile justice officials. To the contrary, these analyses lead to a conclusion of no gender effect across juvenile probation officers in their dispositional recommendations for one female offender. Given the conceptualization of juvenile justice as a people-modulating system, it is suggested that routine referrals, such as female status offenders, elicit normatively prescribed dispositions. Moreover, these sanctions, which impose relatively punitive protection for female adolescents, appear to be institutionalized into the practice of juvenile justice which no longer directly depends on male dominance for its perpetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalThe Social Science Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this