The Role of Dehumanization in Attitudes Toward the Social Exclusion and Rehabilitation of Sex Offenders

Authors


G. Tendayi Viki, Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP, United Kingdom. E-mail: g.t.viki@kent.ac.uk

Abstract

We examined the role of dehumanization in people's attitudes toward the rehabilitation of sex offenders. In Study 1, the more participants dehumanized sex offenders, the less they supported their rehabilitation and the longer the sentences they recommended. In Study 2, the more participants dehumanized sex offenders, the more likely they were to support their exclusion from society. In Study 3, the more participants dehumanized sex offenders, the more they supported their violent ill treatment. In Study 4, within a sample of correctional staff, good quality contact with sex offenders was related to less dehumanization and more support for rehabilitation. Mediation analyses indicated that the relationship between quality of contact and support for rehabilitation was mediated via dehumanization.

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