Matching Items (2)
- Genre: Masters Thesis
- Creators: Arizona State University
- Creators: Arenas, Lauren
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
Sentencing disparities between male and female teacher sexual offenders: do male offenders receive harsher penalties in Arizona?
The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine if sentencing disparities exist between male and female teachers who have been convicted of sexual misconduct with a student in Maricopa County, Arizona over a ten-year period. The hypothesis is that male teachers convicted of sexual misconduct with a student will receive harsher punishment than their female counterparts. In addition, this research will analyze the sentencing decisions of Arizona judges and prosecutors through plea-bargaining when compared with the presumptive sentence set by the Arizona Legislature. Issues that will be addressed include: a brief review of gender disparities in sentencing, sex offender sentencing, Arizona's rules of criminal procedure, and a review of the Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to sexual crimes as well as the Arizona Supreme Court sentencing guidelines. The data set consists of fifteen different Maricopa County teachers who committed a sexual offense against a student and were convicted of that offense from February 2000 through September 2009. According to the results of this study, male teachers do receive harsher penalties than their female counterparts within Maricopa County.
While there is a good amount of research focused on sex offenders as a whole, only a limited number of studies examine variations within these offenders, how people view the variations, and why their opinions may differ. This study focuses on the interconnections among gender norms, rape myth acceptance, and the perception of sex offenders by administering an online student survey. The survey measured rape myth acceptance and adherence to traditional gender roles to see how they affected perceptions of sex offenders. Perceptions were measured using vignettes that were varied by gender and the situation described. Results showed that higher rape myth acceptance would decrease the blameworthiness of the offender, that the offender was seen as more blameworthy when the offender was a male, and that women tended to see the offender as more blameworthy than men did. The type of sexual situation did not have an impact on blameworthiness, nor did adherence to gender roles. The findings support past research that suggests that rape myth acceptance can impact people’s opinions about offenders in sexual situations and specifically that these opinions differ depending on the gender of the offender. With some offenders being viewed as more blameworthy than others, it is necessary to examine sex offense laws to see how they may disproportionately affect some offenders and implement harsher punishments than the public may deem necessary.