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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2022

Lydia Caroline Cook and Simon C. Duff

The purpose of this study is to compare perceptions of male cisgender and male transgender stalking perpetrators. There present study compared participants’ perceptions of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare perceptions of male cisgender and male transgender stalking perpetrators. There present study compared participants’ perceptions of whether behaviour constituted stalking, posed a threat, had a risk of violence and required police intervention when the perpetrator was transgender or cisgender. The present study also sought to replicate the prior-relationship misconception in stalking literature and to investigate whether perceptions of transgender perpetrators changed based on the age and gender of the perceiver.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants read vignettes outlining the relationship between victim and perpetrator as well as a description of the stalking behaviours. Participants then reported their perceptions of the four dependent variables on Likert-type scales.

Findings

The prior-relationship misconception was replicated. There were no significant differences in perceptions of transgender and cisgender perpetrators across the four dependent variables. There were also no significant differences in perceptions based on the gender of the perceiver. Contrary to expectations, older participants perceived transgender perpetrators as less threatening than younger participants.

Research limitations/implications

The prior-relationship misconception is robust to gender identity of the perpetrator. The participants in the present study seemed to make judgements based on stalking behaviour and not the gender identity of the perpetrator. Future research should replicate this study with more severe stalking behaviours and with greater variation in gender identity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to compare perceptions of cisgender and transgender males in the context of stalking perpetration. There is also consideration of how the demographics of the perceiver could impact these perceptions. This study also contributes to research on the prior-relationship misconception by demonstrating that the misconception is robust to gender identification of the perpetrator.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2013

Simon C. Duff and Adrian J. Scott

Perception research has demonstrated that people view stranger stalkers to be more persistent and dangerous than ex‐partner stalkers. Although these findings are…

Abstract

Purpose

Perception research has demonstrated that people view stranger stalkers to be more persistent and dangerous than ex‐partner stalkers. Although these findings are consistent with the outcome of legal processes where stranger stalkers are more likely to be convicted, they contrast with the findings of national surveys and applied research where ex‐partner stalkers represent the most persistent and dangerous relational subtype. The aim of the current study is to further examine the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking by considering the impact of additional contextual information regarding the breakdown of ex‐partners’ relationships for the first time.

Design/methodology/approach

In this vignette study 180 women were randomly assigned to one of seven conditions and asked to complete five 11‐point Likert scale items relating to another person's behaviour. The relationship between that person and themselves was manipulated across the seven conditions so that the person was described as either a stranger, an acquaintance, an ex‐partner or an ex‐partner with additional contextual information regarding the breakdown of the relationship.

Findings

Participants were less likely to perceive behaviour as stalking or as requiring police intervention, and were more likely to perceive themselves as responsible, when the other person was portrayed as an ex‐partner rather than a stranger. However, perceptions of ex‐partners differed considerably when contextual information regarding the breakdown of the relationship was provided.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications for victims of stalking and the legal system. Examining the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking when additional contextual information is provided can be used to better inform potential victims so as to reduce the risk of serious harm. Additionally, the influence this information has on perceptions of ex‐partner stalkers may have implications for how the legal system understands and deals with ex‐partner stalking cases.

Social implications

The findings have important implications for victims of stalking and the legal system. Examining the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking when additional contextual information is provided can be used to better inform potential victims so as to reduce the risk of serious harm. Additionally, the influence this information has on perceptions of ex‐partner stalkers may have implications for how the legal system understands and deals with ex‐partner stalking cases.

Originality/value

Previous research has demonstrated that perceptions of stalking are influenced by the prior relationship between the stalker and the victim. This has implications for the conviction of stalkers and intervention for stalkers and victims. This research demonstrates that with limited contextual information outlining the reason for relationship breakdown the perceptions of stalking change. This finding may be of value to individuals who do not recognise they are at risk and to the legal system.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Simon Duff, Nick Wakefield, Aimee Croft, Lorraine Perry, Sophie Valavanis and Lisa Wright

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a novel service for the non-offending partners (NOPs) of men who have sexually offended against children.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a novel service for the non-offending partners (NOPs) of men who have sexually offended against children.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the rationale for the current service and the preliminary qualitative data that reflect how NOPs experience the group innovations.

Findings

Interviews and previous qualitative analyses demonstrate both the positive changes that the NOP programme supports regarding child protections skills and the value that NOPs perceive in incorporating male therapists and male offenders into the process.

Research limitations/implications

Given these recent changes to the NOP group, and the small group sizes, the ability to examine how the NOPs perceive these innovations, the personal impact they have on change in NOPs, and more importantly, the impact on recidivism and reduction of further harm to children are yet to be fully investigated and these are central questions for the service to ensure that it offers a valid and reliable intervention programme and limits the extent to which the programme can be generalised. Further research will plug this gap.

Practical implications

The service offers new challenges for NOPs with the aim of making them better understand offending against children, their role in protecting children, and ultimately the protection of children in general. This may act as a model for the development of future services for these individuals.

Originality/value

There are few programmes aimed at providing support and intervention for an often marginalised group of individuals, the female NOPs of men who have sexually offended against children. This programme includes new approaches to working with the women providing them with new sources of support and insight.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Emily Mellor and Simon Duff

This research paper reports findings from a qualitative analysis which explored pornography use in secure hospitals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what…

Abstract

Purpose

This research paper reports findings from a qualitative analysis which explored pornography use in secure hospitals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what attitudes staff working in secure hospital have towards patients having access to pornography, how they make decisions regarding access to pornography and what factors they take into account during this process. This research is an extension of a prior quantitative research study (Mellor and Duff, 2019).

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews to explore professionals’ attitudes towards pornography use in a secure hospital. The sample comprised of six volunteers who had taken part in a previous research study (Mellor and Duff, 2019) requesting to discuss the topic area further. As such this research study was developed. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) was used to analyse the qualitative data and the Attitudes towards Pornography Scale (Evans-DeCicco and Cowan, 2001) was used to collect demographic information.

Findings

Six themes were identified from the transcripts. The first theme explores staff members’ attitudes towards pornography. The second relates to the use of boundaries and monitoring of pornography. The third theme looks at the potential impact that pornography could have on the patient, either positive or negative. The fourth theme explores the extent to which patients are still considered as human beings, whereas the fifth theme explores the vulnerabilities that may make patients more at risk of being negatively influenced by pornography. The final theme looks at decision making regarding access to pornography.

Practical implications

The research offers an insight into how pornography within secure hospitals is managed. The research also provides an exploration into multi-disciplinary team decision making with regard to pornographic material and notes the general openness of staff towards patients having access to pornography.

Originality/value

The findings have important messages for services with regard to policy making. The findings are also relevant for understanding how pornography is managed with in secure hospitals.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Laura Elizabeth Challinor and Simon Duff

The purpose of this paper is to examine sexual offending hierarchies constructed by the general public and forensic staff based on personal attitudes and perceived…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine sexual offending hierarchies constructed by the general public and forensic staff based on personal attitudes and perceived severity of offence. In addition, six sexual offence perpetrators are differentiated using the Five Factor Model of personality.

Design/methodology/approach

Vignettes represented six sexual offence perpetrators. Participants built a hierarchy based on perceived severity of offence, before attributing personality characteristics to each offender using a Likert-type scale.

Findings

Contact offenders were perceived as more dangerous than non-contact offenders. Rapists were perceived as the most dangerous, and voyeurs the least dangerous. Offenders were attributed significantly different personality traits. Generally, men who sexually offend are perceived to be low in agreeableness, openness and conscientiousness and high in impulsivity, manipulativeness and neuroticism.

Practical implications

The research highlights the importance of individual risk assessment in determining best practice treatment for men who have sexually offended (MSO). The Five Factor Model has been proven to be a useful tool to explore the impact staff attitudes have on risk assessment and treatment. Low-risk and high-risk MSO would benefit from divergent treatment. Consideration should be given to personality characteristics in addition to level of risk.

Originality/value

The research determines a hierarchy of men who sexually offend, and goes beyond the “label” of sexual offenders to explore how personality impacts on formation of attitudes.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 February 2020

Harriet Dymond and Simon Duff

Research into paedophilia mainly uses offender samples; thus, little is understood about non-offending paedophiles. The limited body of research has been conducted in…

Abstract

Purpose

Research into paedophilia mainly uses offender samples; thus, little is understood about non-offending paedophiles. The limited body of research has been conducted in North America or Europe whose health and legal systems differ from those in the UK. Using semi-structured interviews, the purpose of this study is to explore the experience of three non-offending British paedophilic males.

Design/methodology/approach

The interview discussed their paedophilia, refraining from offending and perspectives on treatment initiatives. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Findings

Three superordinate themes emerged: “paedophilia as more than a sexuality,” “acceptance leads to management” and “barriers to support.” These encapsulated how paedophilia was understood, how accepting one’s sexual attraction is tantamount to well-being and the various obstacles to providing support were discussed.

Research limitations/implications

Acknowledging the sampling considerations (size and recruitment), the results implicate research into paedophilia. The onset of paedophilia was chronologically associated with typical sexual attraction, and not the result of sexual abuse as some theories suggest. Furthermore, the tenets of attraction to children extending beyond sexual desire were highlighted. Practically, the results influence future research into the area and highlight the dearth in our understanding of diverse behavioural management techniques (i.e. computerised images of children or human-like dolls).

Originality/value

This paper presents novel insight into the aspects of paedophilia, excluding offensive behaviour and highlights the need for affordable, UK-based services targeted towards people with a paedophilic attraction to manage child sexual abuse preventatively and not reactively.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Emily Mellor and Simon Duff

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of staff members in secure hospitals and the general population towards pornography use and their decision-making…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of staff members in secure hospitals and the general population towards pornography use and their decision-making regarding access to pornography.

Design/methodology/approach

A between participants design was used whereby 324 participants, including 162 staff members and 162 people of general population, answered an online questionnaire. Vignettes were presented of six hypothetical patients in a secure hospital, based on gender (male/female) and offence type (sexual/violent/non-offender). Participants were required to decide whether the individual depicted in the vignette should have access to pornography. Finally, participants were given a psychometric assessment of their own attitudes towards pornography.

Findings

Participants were less likely to decide that the sex offender should have access to pornography than the violent or non-offender, thus the offence type of the patient was a significant predictor. There was a significant relationship between attitudes to pornography and whether the individual in the vignette should be given access to pornography. There was no significant difference between attitudes towards pornography of the general public and staff members or for male and female participants. Gender of the patient described in the vignette was not a significant predictor.

Practical implications

The research highlights the importance of our own attitudes towards pornography, our possible beliefs about sexual offenders and the effects these may have on decision-making.

Originality/value

The research determines attitudes towards pornography and explores how attitudes influence decision-making.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2020

Abstract

Details

The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-885-0

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Jamie S. Walton and Simon Duff

There is little research that examines the experiences of individuals who were assessed as having a sexual preference for children. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little research that examines the experiences of individuals who were assessed as having a sexual preference for children. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the lived experience of five incarcerated participants who possessed a sexual preference for either prepubescent or pubescent children and had completed an accredited programme for males convicted of sexual offences in HM Prison Service in England and Wales.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were carried out and the data were analysed using the principles of an interpretative phenomenological approach.

Findings

Three recurrent themes were identified. These were: internal battle, I am always going to have these thoughts, and there is no help out there. In particular, these participants perceived that their sexual preference was relatively enduring and would require continuous management.

Practical implications

The results have implications for clinical practice and further research. Clinicians may need to think particularly creatively about their therapeutic plans and extend the parameters of desirable treatment goals for clients with sexual preferences for children.

Originality/value

To date there are very few studies that have examined the accounts of men with a sexual preference for children regarding their lived experience. Paedophilia constitutes a stable sexual preference, suggesting that convicted perpetrators with such a preference face an inherent problem. Whilst sexual urges may be regulated and arousability reduced, the underlying attraction may remain intact. In response to the lack of research in this area, the aim of this study was to investigate the lived experience of a sexual preference for children.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2018

Fergus McNeill

Abstract

Details

Pervasive Punishment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-466-4

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