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Forensic Staff Attitudes Toward Men Who Have Sexually Offended: A General Public Comparison

Challinor, Laura; Duff, Simon

Forensic Staff Attitudes Toward Men Who Have Sexually Offended: A General Public Comparison Thumbnail


Laura Challinor

Associate Professor in Forensic Psychology


Objectives: To explore the attitudes towards men who have sexually offended (MSO) between the general public and professionals and paraprofessionals in forensic settings.
Background: Existing research demonstrates a number of different factors that appear to be important in the development, maintenance and deterioration of attitudes towards MSO. The exploration of such factors requires further exploration.
Method: A convenience sample was used for the cross-sectional study. A total of 553 participants were recruited from the general public and forensic hospitals, both private and National Health Service (NHS). An online version of the Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders scale (ATS; Hogue, 1993) was distributed via email and social media.
Results: Gender was not found to have any impact on the attitudes individuals held towards MSO. The general public were found to have significantly more negative attitudes when compared to those exposed to MSO at work (professional and paraprofessional staff). Duration of employment did not make attitudes any more or less positive.
Conclusion: The clinical and societal implications of the research are important for MSO to reduce risk within forensic establishments and be supported to reintegrate successfully into the community. Without the support from both staff and the general public at each stage of rehabilitation, desistance is less likely to be maintained. Research continues to provide varying results regarding the factors that influence the nature of attitudes towards MSO.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 31, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 19, 2019
Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 20, 2020
Journal Journal of Forensic Nursing
Print ISSN 1556-3693
Electronic ISSN 1939-3938
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 110-119
Public URL
Publisher URL


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