Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Mark Winkel

Second Advisor

Dr. Darrin L. Rogers

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom White


The following experiment investigates punitiveness toward sex offenders using a sample of one hundred sixty students from the University of Texas-Pan American student population recruited from undergraduate introductory psychology courses and compensated with extra course credit. Punitiveness toward sex offenders was measured with six-point bipolar Likert scales using two attitudinal research methodologies: a randomly assigned between group experiment using a manipulated hypothetical crime scenario, and a survey using a shortened version of the Community Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders Scale (CATSOS). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple comparison tests of attitudinal responses to the hypothetical crime scenario determined that violent sexual offenders face stronger punitive attitudes than violent offenders and non-violent sexual offenders for a subsequent non-sexually motivated crime, such as assault. Based on responses to the CATSOS, standard linear regression failed to determine any significant relationships between demographic variables and punitiveness toward sex offenders.


Copyright 2010 Antonio Zamorano. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American