Date of Award

Summer 9-28-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Elizabeth Jeglic

Second Reader

Gabrielle Salfati

Third Advisor

Sarah DeMarco

Abstract

It is estimated that 10% of Americans will be the victim of a non-contact sex offense in their lifetime. Non-contact sexual offenses include unsolicited exposure to sexual situations, verbal and behavioral sexual harassment, threats, and unsolicited use of a person’s image in a sexual manner. This study will specifically look at exhibitionism, voyeurism, and frotteurism. Historically these sex crimes have been considered nuisance behaviors, however, some recent research suggests that these crimes may negatively impact the victims. This study experimentally examined people’s perceptions of non-contact sex offenses and the type of consequences that should be incurred for these crimes. Further, we examined whether factors such as victim type and crime location may impact these perceptions. Overall we found that victim type did play a significant role in whether or not the participant considered the vignette a sex offense, but location played less of a significant role. These findings are discussed as they pertain to sex offender policy and treatment for non-contact sexual offenses.

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