The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Immorality

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Edition of 1920. See also Immorality on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

IMMORALITY, in general, a course of conduct at variance with the accepted standards of a community, and more especially those of a sexual character. Until recent times the law except in a few instances took no cognizance of immoral acts which in their consequences affect only the immediate participants, but the present tendency everywhere appears to be the extension of the law to regulate the private lives of persons, subjecting at the same time all offenders to legal penalties. See Adultery; Drunkenness; Fornication; Gambling.