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Journal cover: The British Journal of Forensic Practice

The British Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 1463-6646
Currently published as: Journal of Forensic Practice

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Health and Social Care

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Attitudes towards male and female sex offenders: a comparison of forensic staff, prison officers and the general public in Northern Ireland


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Title:Attitudes towards male and female sex offenders: a comparison of forensic staff, prison officers and the general public in Northern Ireland
Author(s):Caitriona Higgins, (East London NHS Trust, UK), Carol Ireland, (Psychological Services, Ashworth Hospital and Psychology Department, University of Central Lancashire, UK)
Citation:Caitriona Higgins, Carol Ireland, (2009) "Attitudes towards male and female sex offenders: a comparison of forensic staff, prison officers and the general public in Northern Ireland", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 11 Iss: 1, pp.14 - 19
Keywords:Attitudes and victim type, Forensic staff, Gender, Sex offenders
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/14636646200900004 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:This study explored the attitudes of prison officers, forensic staff and members of the public towards and male and female sex offenders. Participants were provided with a vignette depicting a specific sexual offence committed against either an adult or a child, by either a male or a female perpetrator, and were then asked to complete a scale assessing attitudes to sex offenders based on the offender depicted in the vignette. Forensic staff emerged as having the most positive attitudes to sex offenders, viewing them as individuals who could be rehabilitated. Prison officers emerged as having the most negative attitudes, in that they were supportive of harsh and untrusting attitudes. Overall, females emerged as viewing sex offenders in more positive terms, whereas males were more supportive of harsh attitudes to sex offenders. Respondents did not have a more negative attitude to female sex offenders than to male sex offenders.



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