Deviance or the sociology of deviance explores the actions (and/or) behaviours that violate social norms across formally enacted rules as well as informal violations of social norms. They can be categorised as formal deviance and informal deviance. Formal deviance is better known as crime, which violates laws in society. Informal deviance consists of minor violations breaking unwritten rules of social life. Norms that have great moral significance are ‘mores’. Under informal deviance, a more opposes societal taboos.

‘Taboo’ is a strong social form of behaviour considered deviant by the majority. Traditionally to speak of taboo subjects publicly was condemmed. Society is far more open to discussion in today’s world. Thankfully. Some forms of ‘taboo’ are forbidden under law and transgressions may lead to severe penalties, whereas other forms may lead to shame, disrespect, and humiliation. Some examples are murder, rape, incest, and child molestation.

Let’s now talk about the television presenter, Philip Schofield and make a comparison between him and his brother, Timothy Schofield.

After his rise to prominence as a children’s television presenter (that worries me) Phillip Schofield (61) continued his television career by presenting a wide range of programmes for both the BBC and ITV. These programmes included Going Live, This Morning, Dancing on Ice, All Star Mr & Mrs, and The Cube. He was also an actor and played leading roles in the musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Doctor Dolittle. His career spanned from 1985 until 2003.

In 1993 he married. His wife and Schofield went on to have two children (girls) in what appeared to be a mutually ‘normal’ marriage. This marriage lasted twenty-seven years—until Schofield announced he was gay, in 2020. The couple divorced that same year.

Three years on (2023) Schofield has announced, after denying it to ITV’s management, work colleagues and to the public, that he had an affair with a young male ITV employee while he was still married. He first met his young lover when he was just 15 years old, that their relationship was communication regarding careers and a job. The man gained work experience with ITV at 19 and then applied as a runner for ITV and 20, securing the job, which is when he and Schofield first encountered sexual contact. This was in Schofield’s dressing room.

Philip Schofield has resigned from ITV and was dropped by the talent agency that had represented him for 35 years. He has also been removed as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust (let’s face it the Royals have enough on their place with Prince Andrew). Despite Philip Schofield claiming that no sexual activity took place between himself and the younger man when rumours began circulating previously. He has ensured, through interviews that at no point was grooming a part of his criteria.

This same year (2023) Schofield’s brother, Timothy Schofield (54), has been found guilty of sexual offences against a teenage boy. The former civilian Avon and Somerset police worker watched pornography with the boy (who he claimed was over 16 at the time) and masturbated while seated apart. A statement from the boy for the trial alleged the abuse began at the age of thirteen. He claims he was “emotionally blackmailed” and “forced” to participate in sexual activity. Revealed during his trial was that Timothy had told Philip ‘some’ detail of the offences in September 2021; rather than reporting them to the police, Philip suggested to his brother that he seek help from a doctor.


Philip Schofield, at the time of his brother, Timothy’s, sentencing made a public display of claiming that he denounced having a brother.

One rule for one and another rule for the other brother?

Deviant behaviour is just that, deviant. It matters not the power you hold—or think you might hold—over others. Laws are set in place for the protection of others. Societal norms are there as ‘unspoken guides’ to allow everyone to be safe.

There lays the issue. We don’t speak enough of what is ‘normal’ and what is not. We are not necessarily taught how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty and that is when the deviant strikes with their gradual manipulative ways. They feed, slowly until they get under you skin and you feel there is no escape.

There isn’t really a great deal of difference between these two brothers—one just took it further than the other.

By Donna Siggers