DEFINING DEVIANCY DOWN MOYNIHAN PDF

He is the doctor who ran an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia. Clinic is a misnomer. The place was the stuff of which nightmares are made. In addition to horrifically unsanitary conditions, he is charged with the death of at least one patient and murdering seven babies born alive after botched abortions. He ran what a grand jury described as a baby charnel house. It is tempting to dismiss Gosnell as an aberration, a sociopath lacking in empathy and conscience.

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He is the doctor who ran an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia. Clinic is a misnomer. The place was the stuff of which nightmares are made.

In addition to horrifically unsanitary conditions, he is charged with the death of at least one patient and murdering seven babies born alive after botched abortions. He ran what a grand jury described as a baby charnel house. It is tempting to dismiss Gosnell as an aberration, a sociopath lacking in empathy and conscience.

But that is too facile an explanation. Much more is involved than the acts of a possibly deranged individual. Why did the media ignore the story? The second category is the one relevant to the Gosnell case.

He calls this mode of redefinition opportunistic. The true object is to do well, a long-established motivation among mortals. But it never gets much further than that. A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction. Desensitization is well under way. In the early 19th century, the commonly held opinion among the majority of the white population in America and elsewhere, that blacks were an inferior race, made slavery acceptable.

Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an at least acceptable life, but the well being of the family is at risk. The intent of the foregoing is not to brand anyone a Nazi or a Stalinist.

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The Dangers of Defining Deviancy Up

By way of illustration, Moynihan referenced the St. In the six decades between and , a transformation had occurred in the levels of violence and criminal behavior that the public seemed willing to accept. The idea of defining deviancy down has attracted renewed attention from commentators in the Trump era. If he ever fumbles through adequately, he is praised. But changes in social norms are not unidirectional—they can swing in the opposite direction and, instead of increasing permissiveness, norms can become more restrictive. This is what happens when we define deviancy up.

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Defining Deviancy Down

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