Public character perceptions of sexually deviant groups

Hogue, Todd and Mabbott, Jessica and Browne, Bethany (2016) Public character perceptions of sexually deviant groups. In: Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference, 14 - 16 June 2016, Brighton.

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Abstract

Objective
This study aimed to examine the way that different types of offenders are stigmatised and stereotyped. It was expected that different offender groups would be perceived differently in terms of comprehensive assessment of psychopathic personality (CAPP) traits and punitive responses, and that these responses would be related to pre-existing attitudes.

Design
An online community survey was used in a between and within group design.

Method
A sample of 177 individuals provided their baseline attitudes and perceptions about sexual offenders. They then suggested how they thought prototypical sexual offenders presented, based on psychopathic personality (CAPP) traits, and completed a measure of punitive believes. Participants then repeated this procedure in relation to a second randomly assigned group: psychopaths, paedophiles, rapists, violent offenders, or non-offenders who are sexually interested in children.

Results
Prototypicality analyses of the CAPP ratings about ‘sexual offenders’ were compared to ratings of the different offence related groups. Comparisons between the groups were undertaken to examine the impact of group labelling on stigma and stereotypical beliefs of the groups. Differences were found depending on the group and personality traits being rated, and these were related to pre-existing attitudes.

Conclusions
Offence-related labels are stereotyped and stigmatised differently in terms of how the public thinks that the individual will prototypically present themselves. In terms, these judgements are related to punitive judgements. Offender labelling and pre-existing participant attitudes both need to be considered in terms of how offender groups are perceived and responded to.

Keywords:ATS, attitudes, sexual offenders
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:23323
Deposited On:24 Jun 2016 08:05

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