An investigation into the effect of education in sexual offending on attitudes towards sexual offenders

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O'Dwyer, Anthony
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The main aim of the study was to determine whether education in sexual offending would improve attitudes towards sexual offenders. In a quasi-experimental mixed design, 90 participants (47 male and 43 female, all over 20 years of age) completed an ATS (Attitudes Towards Sexual Offenders) questionnaire twice. In the experimental group, participants received information on sexual offending between each completion of the questionnaire. In the control group, participants received no additional information. Results indicated a significance increase between initial ATS score and final ATS score (F(1,88) = 29.96, p < 0.001) and a significant interaction between this increase in ATS score and group membership (F(1,88) = 20.56, p <0.001). Results suggest a significant improvement in attitudes towards sexual offenders after reading information on sexual offending. It is concluded that education in sexual offending can significantly improve attitudes towards sexual offenders.