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Domestic violence in heterosexual and homosexual relationships: perceptions and attitudes in a comparative study between police and non-police students

Lynch-Roche, Jonathon (2012) Domestic violence in heterosexual and homosexual relationships: perceptions and attitudes in a comparative study between police and non-police students. Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Recent research has indicated that victim and perpetrator sex can negatively influence perceptions and attitudes towards domestic violence. Research has also indicated that police officers are more unwilling to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence if the altercation is not in concordance with traditional gender stereotypes (male on female). One hundred and thirty eight participants from police courses vs. non police courses completed a questionnaire booklet involving a real life domestic violence vignette where sex of the perpetrator and the victim were manipulated. Two 2 X 4 ANCOVA’s and one 2 X 4 X 2 ANCOVA identified that perpetrator and victim sex can influence people’s perceptions of the believability, severity and prospective sentence for perpetrators. No significant main effect was found for course type and domestic violence attitudes. Bivariate correlations indicated negative correlations for knowledge and perceived severity in the male/female condition and negative correlations for homophobia on perceived believability in the male/male scenario. The potential interest of the findings from this research is to ensure the equality of both heterosexual and homosexual domestic violence cases in the eyes of the law.

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