Moral Panics and the Sex Offender Registry Are the Laws Really Protecting Communities

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Material Information

Title:
Moral Panics and the Sex Offender Registry Are the Laws Really Protecting Communities
Physical Description:
1 online resource (350 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Klein, Jennifer L
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Criminology, Law, and Society, Sociology and Criminology & Law
Committee Chair:
LANZA KADUCE,LONN M
Committee Co-Chair:
AKERS,RONALD L
Committee Members:
LEVETT,LORA M
WEBSTER,GREGORY DANIEL

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
national -- offender -- perceptions -- registry -- sex -- survey
Sociology and Criminology & Law -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Criminology, Law, and Society thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
There is a unique stigma associated with sexual offenders living in the community. Once their sentence is completed, sexual offenders are required to register with the state and to have their personal information made available on a public website. Community members are wary of these perceived predators as threats to their children and as a possible disruption to the innocent lives their children lead. Not all sex crimes are the same but all sex offenders are commonly treated and perceived as the same, no matter their crime. Many individuals (the general public, politicians, etc.) have one perception of sexual offenders, which might not match the reality of their crimes. The literature surrounding community perceptions of sexual offenders is limited by continuously growing. The current study examines the perceptions of a national sample of participants who have children and who do not. This direct comparison of groups adds to the literature by bringing the protective nature of parenthood into play. Previous research has shown that sex offenders do not have high rates of reoffending, but there is fear and stigma associated with these individuals. This dichotomy, between actual rates of recidivism and public fear of reoffending, will serve as the focal point of the paper, in trying to find the cause of these misconceptions. When dealing with social issues such as perceptions and stigma, many factors could potentially influence an individual's perceptions, including their status as a parent, their socio-economic status, their previous experiences with sex offenses and other crimes and exposure to the media. Furthermore, this project will examine the subtlety present in the comparison of sex offenders and sex predators. A random assignment of those terms will be applied to the study to examine which terms is more salient to participants, and whether or not they are able to distinguish the difference in the two terms. All of these factors will be tested in conjunction with registry knowledge, moral panic measures, legal support and accuracy to determine just how important and concerning the presence of sexual offenders is in the eyes of the general citizenry.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jennifer L Klein.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
Local:
Adviser: LANZA KADUCE,LONN M.
Local:
Co-adviser: AKERS,RONALD L.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2016-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2014
System ID:
UFE0046459:00001