• AUTHORS' NOTE: This study was supported by Grant MH2743J from the Center for Studies of Crime and Delinquency, Notional Institute of Mental Health.

  • Stephen Norland is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Criminal Justice at the University of Haruord. His research interests include the relationships between sex, gender, and criminal behavior. He is co-author of articles on these topics recently published in Social Forces and Pacific Sociological Review.

  • Randall C. Wessel is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was a research assistant on the Norland-Shover project on gender roles and delinquency. His primary research interests are in the sociology of law and the application of cohort analysis to delinquency.

  • Neal Shover is Professor of Sociology ai the University of Tennessee. Knoxville. He has continuing interests in gender roles and crime, organizational crime, and the later stages of criminal careers. Presently he is conducting research on the emergence of a new federal regulatoryagency. the Office of Surface Mining.


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.