The term "Deviant Behavior" connotes different meaning to different people. What one may find deviant may not be viewed as deviant by the other person. Therefore the meaning of deviance is based on the perception of individuals. It need not be just viewed as something which our society considers illegal.
A behavior is said to be a deviant behavior when it goes against the social values of a society. But, in a general view, Deviant Behavior may be simply termed as that which does not fit in the social norms, values and ethics of society. Involving in a deviant behavior only extracts negative response and is punishable.
Generally deviant behavior is looked down upon by the people. The term Deviant Behavior implies certain behaviors like, ‘not very nice’, ‘most awful’, and a criminal. A deviant behavior may be formal or informal and voluntary or involuntary. The severity of deviance is rated based on the situation and the norm and value being violated. For example, violation of informal values involuntarily is far less offensive than violating formal values and norms voluntarily. People involving in deviant behavior are those who hurt or harm others, who violate the rules, laws, values and ethics to satisfy themselves. They are the people of the world who seek supremacy over other people.
The causes of deviant behavior are determined by our approach to see whether it is a matter of moral choice or as having any biological cause and effect. A behavior is said to be deviant when the actions are not conforming to that particular cultural values. Deviance can be viewed from different perspectives – sociological, biological and psychological perspectives.
The reason for a deviant behavior is an unclear topic even today. Inspite of so many studies and researches, there is not even a single reason found on the deviant behavior of the people and why they behave so. This is because behavior which was thought of as deviant in the early days is no longer considered to be deviant. People have started to accept the differences. Infact, individuals are also being taught to be different today because they want to be shown as unique and not to be ashamed of it. But the behaviors that are against law or that which breaks the rule are still considered to be deviant behaviors and are punishable and would never change.
Till date the reason for deviant behavior is a controversial topic because what causes a person to behave deviant may be from inherited traits or learned behavior from society or family or from both. And such deviant behaviors can cause volcanic eruption in the society where we are living today.