Attitudes towards sexual offenders: what do we know, and why are they important?

Harper, Craig and Hogue, Todd and Bartels, Ross (2017) Attitudes towards sexual offenders: what do we know, and why are they important? Aggression and Violent Behavior . ISSN 1359-1789

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Over the past two decades, a large body of research on attitudes towards sexual offenders has
been conducted across a number of different contexts. However, there has been less
discussion of their implications. Clinically, attitudes may be related to therapeutic climates
and treatment outcomes and risk judgments, while in the social context, the views of the
public about sexual offenders may play a key role in the reintegration of these offenders, and
the political responses associated with sexual offending. Sexual crime is advocated as a
public health issue, with attitudes towards the perpetrators of such offenses being of critical
importance when trying to create a social environment within which to successfully reduce
rates of sexual offending. In this article, the research evidence currently available in this area
is reviewed. An analysis of the conceptualization and measurement of attitudes towards
sexual offenders is provided, before the existing literature on the factors underlying such
attitudes is explored. Following this, the malleability of attitudes towards sexual offenders is
examined. The review concludes with some suggestions for future theoretical, empirical, and
practical advancements in this important area.

Keywords:attitudes, sexual offenders, treatment, desistance, reintegration, sexual crime, review
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:25876
Deposited On:21 Jan 2017 17:25

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