Thumbnail Image

University Students' Knowledge of and Attitudes toward Sex Offenders and Treatment of Sex Offenders in New Zealand and China

Topics related to sexual offending and sex offenders can provoke a great deal of fear and anxiety in society. Sex offenders are a group of people who are considered to be especially unpleasant and harmful compared to other types of offenders. Over the past two decades, academic researchers and clinical professionals have developed a variety of assessment methods and treatment programmes to reduce recidivism rates of sex offenders. Public attitudes toward sex offenders are proposed to play an important role in the effectiveness of treatment for sex offenders. Thus, general community members’ attitudes have been widely studied in western countries. However, there is little cross-cultural research exploring Asian people’s attitudes toward sex offenders. The three keys purposes of this study were to examine university students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward sex offenders, explore how their knowledge and attitudes were formed, and compare the similarities and differences between New Zealand and Chinese university students. A total of 62 participants were included in this study; 29 from New Zealand and 33 from China. It was hypothesized that New Zealand university students would be more knowledgeable of and positive toward sex offenders, treatment of sex offenders and released sex offenders than Chinese university students. The results supported hypotheses that New Zealand students had greater knowledge of and positive attitudes toward sex offenders and treatment of sex offenders. However, no difference was found in people’s attitudes toward released sex offenders between two groups of students. The results also indicated that the news media was the most common source of information on sexual offending and sex offenders in both countries. However, there is a great difference in people’s attitudes toward veracity of information provided by the media between New Zealand and Chinese students. The results are considered in light of current research. Implications and future research directions are briefly discussed.
Type of thesis
Liu, S. (2014). University Students’ Knowledge of and Attitudes toward Sex Offenders and Treatment of Sex Offenders in New Zealand and China (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8710
University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.