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Perceptions of child pornography and its inherent harm: Does personality play a role?

This study examined perceptions of inappropriateness of child sexual abuse material, the degree of perceived harm in that material and any relationship the latter had to the Five Factor Model of Personality domains. It examined whether a non-expert audience of university students would use the typology of the 10-level COPINE scale to create a hierarchy of harm or seriousness of offending that aligns with the original. The study found that while the anchors of the scale were ranked in original position, other levels moved in their ranking, representing some disagreement as to whether the COPINE scale adequately represented ascending level of seriousness of offending with regards to the harm caused to the victims Perception of harm represented to the children depicted in the images was tied to wrongdoing. Participants appeared to link harm to the context in which images were used rather than the content represented No correlation was found between Five-Factor Model of Personality domains and perception of harm, which may have been due to limitations of the study rather than the lack of any such link. Results were obtained in an anonymous online survey created using an open-source questionnaire based on Goldberg's (1990, 1992) five-factor construct and plain English textual description of each of the 10 levels of the COPINE scale.
Type of thesis
Aitken Worth, A. (2016). Perceptions of child pornography and its inherent harm: Does personality play a role? (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10644
University of Waikato
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