Critical Criminology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 139–149 | Cite as

“Delinquent Boys”: Toward a New Understanding of “Deviant” and Transgressive Behavior in Gay Men

  • Brian Jay FrederickEmail author


Cultural criminology suggests that crime, deviance, and transgression are often subcultural in nature. For this reason, cultural criminologists often focus on the simultaneous forces of cultural inclusion and social exclusion when explaining criminal, deviant, or transgressive behaviors. This is a particularly useful bricolage for examining contemporary gay deviance and transgression—behaviors that are perhaps closely linked to (if not directly caused by) the past isolation, marginalization and/or oppression of homosexuals by Western heteronormative societies. It is also useful for understanding behaviors that are the result of marginalization and oppression from other sources, namely, the gay community itself. Using subcultural theories of deviance—such as those favored by cultural criminologists—this article explores a perspective that can be used for exploring certain forms of gay deviance and transgression. First, some of the more ostensible criminological theories that satisfy a prima facie criminological inquiry will be presented and critiqued: labeling and stigma, and resistance to heteronormativity. To these will be added a new and potentially productive way of thinking that takes into consideration rule-breaking as a form of resistance to homonormative norms, values and rules.


Sexual Compulsivity Mephedrone Crystal Methamphetamine Cultural Criminology Transgressive Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank the faculty, staff and candidates of the Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC) for their wisdom, guidance and support, as well as the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, the University of Kent at Paris, and Columbia University’s Reid Hall in Paris for their generous provision of office space during this project. Last, a special thank you to Jordan Blair Woods, Carrie L. Buist and Matthew Ball for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Erasmus Mundus Joint “Doctorate in Cultural & Global Criminology” (DCGC) programme of the European UnionUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.The Erasmus Mundus Joint “Doctorate in Cultural & Global Criminology” (DCGC) programme of the European UnionUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute für Kriminologische SozialforschungUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

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