Perceptions around adult and child sex offenders and their rehabilitation as a function of education in forensic psychology independent of traditionalism and perpetrator sex

Rothwell, M., Fido, D. and Heym, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-2414-8854, 2021. Perceptions around adult and child sex offenders and their rehabilitation as a function of education in forensic psychology independent of traditionalism and perpetrator sex. Forensic Science International: Mind and Law, 2: 100039. ISSN 2666-3538

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Abstract

Literature pertaining to individuals with sexual convictions typically reports punitive views about their crimes, sentences, and overall effectiveness of rehabilitation, with such perceptions partially driven by offence demographics such as victim age and perpetrator sex. This manuscript extends this literature through the exploration of perceiver characteristics of self-reported traditionalism and education in forensic psychology as mechanisms of perceptions and awareness. Participants (N = 101; 60% forensic psychology students; 40% general public) read online vignettes related to sexual offences (manipulating perpetrator sex and victim age), and completed measures of perceptions of sex offenders, perceived rehabilitation efficacy and traditionalism. Members of the general population (without a background of education in forensic psychology) reported harsher views towards individuals with sexual convictions and their rehabilitation, relative to students of forensic psychology, independent of their greater traditionalism. There was no main effect of or interaction with perpetrator sex. Whilst participants endorsed more negative perceptions towards sex offenders of child than adult victims, this did not extent to differences in perceptions regarding their rehabilitation. Findings reported here indicate a need for greater understanding as to the factors that might moderate perceptions towards individuals with sexual convictions and have implications for the promotion of sex offender rehabilitation programmes. Understanding the root of such public attitudes is a key step for creating and improving associated policies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Forensic Science International: Mind and Law
Creators: Rothwell, M., Fido, D. and Heym, N.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: November 2021
Volume: 2
ISSN: 2666-3538
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.fsiml.2020.100039DOI
1399219Other
S2666353820300321Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Jan 2021 09:05
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 13:46
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42025

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