The construct validity of attitudes toward sex offenders (ATS) scale: ATS is more strongly linked to the acceptance of sex offenders than other offenders or non‐offenders

Laura Rawson, Frouke Hermens*, Tochukwu Onwuegbusi, Todd E. Hogue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Negative attitudes toward offenders may hinder the rehabilitation process. The present study examines the relationship between attitudes toward sex offenders and stated acceptance of offenders and non-offenders into various aspects of daily life. Sixty female members of the public (18–50 years old, UK residents, recruited by word of mouth and via social media) completed an attitudes towards sex offenders (ATS) scale and indicated for each of eight vignettes describing ex-offenders and non-offenders whether they would accept them in various situations (housing, employment, day-to-day activities). Results indicate that in this group of female participants, harsher attitudes toward sex offenders are associated with lower acceptance of sex offenders (around 50% less acceptance) and other offenders (around 25% less acceptance), but not non-offenders, suggesting a tight coupling between attitudes and acceptance. The observed coupling between attitudes toward sex offenders and acceptance of offenders suggests that it will be difficult to change one without changing the other.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2024

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