Applying moral foundations theory to understanding public views of sexual offending

Harper, C.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129 and Harris, A.J., 2017. Applying moral foundations theory to understanding public views of sexual offending. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 23 (2), pp. 111-123. ISSN 1355-2600

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Much research has examined the views held by citizens about sexual offenders and related policy responses. Although studies have extensively examined demographic correlates of such views, little attention has been paid to psychological mechanisms that underpin them. Gaining a deeper understanding of such mechanisms may ultimately prove useful for informing communication strategies around the problem of sexual violence. We propose the application of moral foundations theory (MFT) as a means of exploring the roots of the current punitive consensus around sexual crime policy at the macro level, as well as individual variability in attitudes about sexual violence. Following an overview of the sexual offender policy landscape, and a description of MFT principles, we outline how this framework can help to explain both convergence and divergence in responses to sexual offending among members of the public. We also provide a series of testable hypotheses to stimulate further research in this area.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Moral foundations and views of sexual offending
Publication Title: Journal of Sexual Aggression
Creators: Harper, C.A. and Harris, A.J.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis in association with the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA)
Date: 2017
Volume: 23
Number: 2
ISSN: 1355-2600
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 16 Sep 2016 09:43
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 11:16

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