Universities: Risks of Research

The force of law in most cases protects the confidential nature of communications between lawyer and client, psychiatrist and patient, pastor and penitent (see RELIGION). Yet scientists studying antisocial or abnormal human behavior have no such protection, and are wide open to arrest for participating in illegal activities or concealing information about them. The result, many of them claim, is that little meaningful research is being done in the field of what sociologists call "deviant behavior."

The perils of this work were recently exemplified by the dilemma that faced California Sociologist Lewis Yablonsky, whose books on teen-age gang life in...

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