Public attitudes to sex offenders in New Zealand
Thakker, J. (2010). Public attitudes to sex offenders in New Zealand. Sexual Aggression, available online on 19 November 2010.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4829
Sexual offending is a topic that often invokes heated debate and strong opinions among individuals from all walks of life. Generally, those who commit crimes of a sexual nature are uniformly abhorred, especially those who sexually abuse children. While the presence of these views is widely acknowledged, little is known about what these views are or how they develop. This study aimed to answer this question by conducting focus groups in various centres around New Zealand. The results showed that the news media was identified as the most important source of information on sexual offenders, although there was some scepticism in regard to the veracity of such information. Some of the views expressed were consistent with current understandings of sexual offending while some appeared to be borne of a lack of information. The results are considered in light of current research and the implications and future directions for further research are discussed briefly.