The Effect of College Majors on Students' Perceptions of Sexual Offenders

Date
2021-05
Authors
Santore, Madison
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Publisher
Florida Southern College
Abstract
The purpose of my honors thesis is to determine whether or not students' opinions and assumptions about sex offenders differ according to their college major. This project also examines whether students' academic disciplines shape their perspectives on sanctions and policies for a type of crime that is known to be so egregious. In the United States, public opinion helps shape policies against sex crimes (Redlich, 2002). More research is needed to determine where and how the general public obtains information and forms opinions related to sex crimes. However, factors such as age, gender, income, and level of education are thought to be some of the main characteristics that help shape public perception (Budd, 2017). In addition to the level of education, the specific types of education that students are receiving can affect where they stand on societal issues, including sex crimes and criminal sanctions (Budd, 2017). My hypothesis was that students who are pursuing a degree in criminology will be more in favor of stricter sanctions and will show signs of lower empathy levels towards sexual offenders than students of other academic majors.
Description
Honors Thesis Spring 2021
Keywords
Sex offenders, Public opinion, Empathy, Social perception
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