Sexual Offenders, Public Perception of

Sexual offending results in drastic negative consequences for victims and their families. The nature of this offending behavior results in very strong public reactions and opinions about this subgroup of offenders. It is important to consider public perceptions or attitudes, particularly in the context of community reintegration of sexual offenders. Attitudes are an expression of favor or disfavor toward a particular entity and formed as a result of both direct and indirect experiences. Public attitudes inform and impact policy development, reintegration approaches, and community-based support for sex offenders. It is essential to understand public attitudes toward sex offenders because attitudes are linked to behavior, and as a result, the public’s responses to this group in the community may limit an offender’s ability to successfully ...

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