Recently, a number of FCRG members whose research falls within the field of sexual offending, attended and presented at the 34th annual conference for the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) in Montréal, Canada (14-17th Oct, 2015). Below is a summary of what each FCRG member presented:
Dr Hannah Merdian (alongside Prof. Derek Perkins) ran a pre-conference workshop on case formulation and intervention planning with online child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) users. This comprehensive workshop, based upon recent research and the new onlinePROTECT Pathways Model of CSEM offending, was well attended and highly acclaimed by attendees. Dr Merdian also presented a poster (alongside Dr Bartels) on CSEM implicit theories.
Prof. Todd Hogue was invited to present in a symposium entitled “Advancing Public Opinion Research on Sexual Violence and Sex Offender Management Policy“. In his talk, Prof. Hogue presented the results of systematic review on measures designed to assess public attitudes towards sex offenders. Reliability and validity results pertaining to the Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders (ATS) scale and Community Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders (CATSO) scale were summarised, as were cross-cultural differences. Issues within existing research were highlighted, and recommendations for future research were proffered.
Craig Harper (PhD Candidate) was invited to provide a ‘blitz talk’ in the same symposium as Prof, Hogue. In this 7-minute presentation, Craig introduced moral disengagement theory as a means for understanding the public’s response to sexual offender cases in the media. Craig then summarised the results of an experimental study that was based upon this theory. The study aimed to test whether dehumanising language (versus factual language) about a sex offender case (embedded within an online newspaper article) would lead the general public to form more negative perceptions of sex offenders. The results were supportive.
Dr Ross Bartels was invited to partake in a symposium entitled ‘Rape–Supportive Cognition and Sexual Aggression Against Adults‘. Dr Bartels has recently been interested in whether rape-supportive cognitions (or rape myths), held by men, bias memory recall about the actions of a female. For his talk, Dr Bartels presented the results of a preliminary study (carried out by ex-MSc student Rebecca Gentry), based upon prior false memory research, to test this idea. The findings were supportive. Dr Bartels also presented a poster on CSEM-related implicit theories with Dr. Merdian,
Overall, the conference was a successful, productive, and inspiring event. Each speaker received positive feedback for their respective presentations, as well as forging some exciting collaborative research opportunities.
If you would like a copy of any of the presentations, please contact the relevant researcher. NB: Clicking the link attached to the researcher’s name will take you to their staff page, where you will find their contact details.