The media typically misrepresents sex offenders and their crimes by presenting myths related to sex offenders that run contrary to the data supported by empirical research. These inconsistencies affect the public's overall perception of sex offenders and their crimes, which, in turn, often affects public policy. This study evaluated the presence of sex offender myths in print media. Employing content analysis, the sample for this study comprised of 334 newspaper articles from across the United States throughout 2009. The sample was gathered from an online news database. Results suggest that several sex offender myths exist in print media, and were shown to be associated with articles discussing sex offender policy. The way by which the media disseminate policy and images of offenders should be based on empirical research. This is vital in order to reduce the way by which myths are introduced into the media and legislation.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Criminology, Public policy|
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