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Individual determinants of punitive attitudes towards sexual and domestic abuse offenders

Palasinski, M and Shortland, N (2016) Individual determinants of punitive attitudes towards sexual and domestic abuse offenders. Safer Communities, 15 (3). pp. 125-133. ISSN 1757-8043 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Purpose –individual factors predicting punitive attitudes toward sexual and domestic offences and offenders have received little attention, which this paper aims to address.
Design/methodology/approach - in Study 1, 137 participants completed a 25-item online questionnaire exploring individual factors hypothesised to predict punitive attitudes towards four sexual crimes: rape, paedophilia, incest and bestiality. In Study 2, 100 participants completed a similar questionnaire exploring individual factors hypothesized to predict punitive attitudes towards male and female emotional, physical and sexual abusers.
Findings - the standard multiple regression models of Study 1 found that Age (i.e., being older), Belief in a Just World and Gender (i.e., being female) were predictors of harsher punitive attitudes. The models of Study 2 found that the low score on the Social Dominance scale was the most common predictor.
Research limitations - this survey-based project presents a nuanced picture that could be complemented by the inclusion of a wider range of more complex factors and follow-on qualitative studies.
Practical implications – the key message from this study is to inform the public on the role of personality factors in developing punitive attitudes.
Social implications – it is vital to increase the legislators’ and the people’ awareness of the factors shaping the public impressions of criminal justice processes and evidence-based treatment effectiveness.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 11:19
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2018 19:32
DOI or Identification number: 10.1108/SC-03-2016-0007
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8748

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