Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Masters in Criminology to the Technological University Dublin, 2012.


This dissertation implements research in relation to public attitudes towards sex crime and sex offender reintegration with the objective of outlining a publically perceived scale of sexual deviance and exploring how this impacts on reintegrative measures. In addition, it investigates public knowledge of existing legislation and prevalence of sex crime. A web-based approach and electronic data collection method are used, whereby 84 participants are sampled from an Irish discussion forum-based website ( An online survey in the form of a self-completion questionnaire explores their attitudes in relation to various scenarios of sex crime and various types of sex offenders. Willingness to apply the label of “sex offender”, levels of punitiveness and responses to reintegrative measures and policies are each explored. Findings suggest that the public indeed perceive sexual deviance to be on a scale of severity and the least reintegrative responses are shown towards those seen as most deviant. Support for the rehabilitative ideal has also been found to be strong. As such, this study has significant implications for policy, practice and future research.