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Abstract

A strong positive association between masculinity and delinquency is on important assumption in theories which explain why (1) males are more delinquent than females and (2) females are becoming increasingly delin-quent. Self-report measures obtained from 1002 junior and senior high school students from a large Southeastern city constitute the data for an examination of the first of these relationships. Factor analytic procedures were used to identify the components of masculinity: leadership, aggressive-ness, competitiveness, ambitiousness, and successfulness. Separate models of masculinity, opportunity, attachment to conventional others, and belief in the moral validity of low are constructed for status, property, and aggressive offenses. For females, masculinity has no direct effects on any type of delinquency. For males, masculinity is directly related only to status offenses. The results are inconsistent with analyses of females' delinquency that emphasize their adoption of masculine characteristics.