The romantic notion that all malefactors are depraved on accounta they’re deprived has worn thin among experts and laypeople alike.
I found this sentence in a Steven Pinker's book (The Blank Slate). I struggle to understand the meaning of "on accounta", I did not find any definition.
Any idea what it could mean?
EDIT: StoneyB found the context of this expression which has been used few pages before.
In a New Yorker cartoon, a woman on a witness stand says, “True, my husband beat me because of his childhood; but I murdered him because of mine.” In the comic strip Non Sequitur, the directory of a mental health clinic reads: “1st Floor: Mother's Fault. 2nd Floor: Father's Fault. 3rd Floor: Society's Fault.” And who can forget the Jets in West Side Story, who imagined explaining to the local police sergeant, “We're depraved on accounta we're deprived”?