Research investigating attitudes toward sex offenders has failed to specify the gender of the ‘sex offenders’. Given that most participants are unlikely to think of women as sex offenders, it is likely that reported attitudes relate to male sex offenders. This study investigated the attitudes towards female sex offenders of 92 members of staff employed by a UK chain store (public sample), 20 probation officers employed by a Regional Sex Offender Unit (forensic professional sample) and 64 undergraduate psychology students (student sample). Participants completed the Attitudes Toward Female Sex Offenders Scale adapted from the Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders Scale. Forensic professionals held significantly more positive attitudes than both the students and public. Comparisons between the responses in this study with those of previous studies revealed that the forensic professionals in this study held significantly more positive attitudes towards female sex offenders than professionals in previous studies did towards ‘sex offenders’.
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of sexual aggression, 17 (1), pp. 105-116. The Journal of sexual aggression is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2010.540678.
- Female sex offenders
- attitudes to sex offenders
- attitudes to female sex offenders
- Attitudes to Sex Offenders Scale
- attitudes of professionals working with sex offend
- attitudes to crime