Media influences on public perceptions of sex offenders: Impact on policy and practice

Josephine Brayford, John Deering

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter explores the role of the press media in relation to sexual offending, mainly against children, although some of the issues discussed may be seen to relate to the wider spectrum of sexual offences. We argue that the media have been vital in inflating the 'problem' of such offending in the minds of the public and in putting it firmly on the political agenda.

    The first half of the chapter looks at the ways in which the media have reported sexual offending in recent decades and considers some of the reasons for such developments. This is done in largely summary form (it has been done in greater depth elsewhere) to provide a context to the second purpose, to consider the impact this may have had on the policy and practice of managing and treating sex offenders. We tend to concentrate on the impact of the print news media, while acknowledging the increasing importance of other formats.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSex Offenders: Punish, Help, Change or Control?
    Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Policy and Practice Explored
    EditorsJohn Deering, Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Electronic)9781136292200 , 9780203114735
    ISBN (Print)9780415676984
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2012

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice


    • sex offenders
    • sexual abuse
    • child sexual abuse
    • print media
    • reporting
    • public perception
    • impact on policy


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