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Alison Nagel, Todd Warner, Cristina Reitz-Krueger, and Dick Reppucci

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1 Alison Nagel, Todd Warner, Cristina Reitz-Krueger, and Dick Reppucci
Statutory Rape or “Normal” Teen Love? Psychological Investigations of Adolescent Sexuality and the Law Today we’ll be presenting “Statutory rape or normal teen love? Psychological Investigations of Adolescent Sexuality and the law” Alison Nagel, Todd Warner, Cristina Reitz-Krueger, and Dick Reppucci

2 Outline Statutory Rape Laws- Why We Care
Study description and methodology Knowledge and Opinions of the Laws What do people know and think about statutory laws? Sex Offender Registry for Statutory Crimes Opinions of registration for teens Future directions and feedback First, here’s a kind of roadmap about what we’ll be discussing. To start, I’ll provide some background information about issues surrounding statutory rape laws, why they’re relevant to us, and how we’ve set up the study we’ll be presenting data on. Next, Todd will present some of our initial findings about what people know and think about statutory rape laws. Last, Cristina will talk more specifically about peoples’ opinions on the use of the sex offender registry for teens who have committed statutory crimes. We’ll also talk about the future directions of this study and others, and we would really love to get your feedback and input.

3 Adolescent Sexuality – Why is it relevant?
The majority of adolescents have had sexual intercourse by the age of 18 60 – 70% (Carver, Joyner, & Udry, 2004; Grunbaum et al., 2004) Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that it is not uncommon for teenage girls to date slightly older boys (Leitenberg & Saltzman, 2003) As I mentioned…This study is looking at adolescent sexuality’s intersection with the legal system. So, why do we care? It should come as no surprise that most adolescents have had sex by the time they reach the age of legal adulthood % of teens do not wait until they turn 18 to have sexual intercourse for the first time. Further, it’s common for teens to date slightly outside of their own age. In particular, teenage girls often date slightly older partners. The take home point being- teenagers have sex, and it is common for partners to differ somewhat in age.

4 Statutory Rape Laws Presumably, statutory rape laws are intended to protect minors from sexual exploitation perpetrated by adults. While every state has statutory rape laws, the variation among states suggests no national consensus for the age at which adolescents’ can competently consent to sexual activity. Presumably, statutory rape laws exist to protect minors from sexual exploitation by adults. I’m sure we can all easily access the image of a creepy old man and a vulnerable young teen girl and understand why such laws exist in every state. However, the variance between state laws suggest that there is no “age of consent for sexual activity” the same way there is for voting- there is no national consensus as to what age adolescents are considered competent enough to consent to sex.

5 Statutory Laws For Example:
A 19 year old male and 15 year old female have sexual intercourse: The maximum sentence could be… Georgia = 20 years, convicted of Statutory Rape Virginia = 1 year, convicted of Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent Maine = Legal

6 Statutory Rape Laws “Romeo and Juliet” laws: less punitive sentencing for partners within certain age gaps Despite these laws, teens and young adults can still be prosecuted, serve jail time, and be required to register as a sex offender for certain violations. In an effort to decriminalize or lessen the severity of statutory relationship punishments between teens close in age, many states have enacted Romeo and Juliet laws. These spell out varying punishments depending on differences in age, with more severe punishments for larger age gaps and/or very young partners. Even with Romeo and Juliet laws, teens and young adults still face harsh penalties for engaging in statutory relationships. Possible sentences can include fines, jail time, and registration as a sex offender.

7 Statutory Rape Cases Create Stir
Genarlow Wilson -17 year old student, was videotaped receiving oral sex from 15 year old female. Was sentenced to 11 years in prison for aggravated child molestation and required to register as a sex offender for life. Georgia Supreme Court eventually ruled 4-3 that Wilson’s sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment (Humphrey v. Wilson, 2007 and Wilson v. The State of Georgia, 2007). There have been several such cases in the past few years that highlight these severe legal consequences, and have therefore caught the media’s attention and created a buzz around these laws. For example, Genarlow Wilson was 17 years old when he was videotaped receiving oral sex from a 15 year old classmate at a party. He was charged with aggravated child molestation, sentenced to 11 years in prison, and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. This sentence was eventually overturned as the state supreme court ruled that it was cruel and unusual.

8 Robert DiPiazza 18-year old student and almost 15-year old girlfriend, teacher saw picture of him touching her in a sexual way, reported to the authorities. Was required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. Now, is married to the “victim” from the case. Michigan appeals court overturned the decision and required him to be removed from the registry. Robert DiPiazza is another memorable example. The “victim” in this case of third degree sexual misconduct is now Mrs. DiPiazza and the mother of their 2 year old son. While Robert was only sentenced to probation and the conviction would therefore eventually be expunged, he was still required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. Michigan did eventually overturn the decision and his name was removed from the registry.

9 Youth Nex Grant Origins
Oudekerk, B., Farr, R., & Reppucci, N.D., (2010). Is it love or sexual abuse? Young adults perceptions of statutory relationships (under review) (N = 180) young adults’ assessments of a statutory rape case Manipulated the age difference between partners: 2, 4, or 6 yrs Asked about knowledge and perceptions of current laws regarding statutory rape in VA. Results Found that participants generally disagreed that any relationship where the younger partner is 15 should be a crime- BUT as age gap increased older partners were judged more harshly. Importantly, found that young adults were poor at accurately identifying illegal statutory relationships. Cases such as these have captured public attention, bringing to light the wide net that statutory rape laws cast. They also left the Reppucci Lab wondering…what do people really know about these laws? And further, what do they think about them? Barbara Oudekerk, Rachel Farr, and Dick Reppucci first explored these issues in a study that served as a precursor for the data we’ll present today. In this study, they asked 180 young adults about their knowledge and perceptions of current statutory rape laws in Virginia. They asked participants to assess a statutory rape case where two young people engaged in a sexual relationship. Younger partner age remained the same, but the age difference varied from 2, 4 or 6 years. Limited to VA laws only. They found that participants disagreed that any sexual relationship where the younger partner is 15 should be a crime- even when the older partner was 21 years old. As the age gap increased, older partners were judged more harshly, BUT younger partners were attributed more responsibility. Generally, young adults were very poor at accurately identifying which relationships were illegal according to VA law. The study called to attention the need for a larger more comprehensive study of knowledge and perception of statutory rape laws using a wider sample and also varying the age of the younger partner and the age gaps assessed.

10 Youth Nex Grant Origins
Patrick Tolan and the Center for Effective Youth Development…to the rescue! Setting the stage for a larger grant. Three part study: Adolescent Focus Groups Young Adults Survey Parents Survey And that is where Youth Nex came to the rescue! Youth Nex provided the funding to explore these issues further, and collect data that can set the stage for a larger grant in the future. Our Youth Nex project is composed of 3 parts- adolescent focus groups, a survey aimed at Young Adults, and a survey for parents of teenagers

11 Part 1: Adolescent Focus Groups
Focus groups with teens and young adults Separated by age and gender: 13-14 years old 15-17 years old 18 years and older Qualitative data on how boys and girls of varying ages conceptualize sexual decision making At what age do teens’ answers mirror those of adults? The focus groups for teens and young adults were divided by age and gender, with participants ages 13 through adulthood. The purpose was to gather qualitative information on how boys and girls of varying ages conceptualize sexual decision making. We asked questions about the pros and cons of having and not having sex, as well as possible consequences and what one can do to prevent negative outcomes. The goal is to examine the age when teens answers mirror those of adults- data is currently being transcribed and analyzed, so we’ll save the results of that section for another talk.

12 Parts 2 and 3: An Epic Survey
Parents Survey: Participants are parents of teens ages 13-17 Why? “In many cases, [statutory rape laws] are enforced largely by how angry the parents of the younger party are,” (Gramlich, 2007). Young Adults Survey: Participants are between 18 – 24 years old Why? Young adults under the age of 24 are the most likely perpetrators of statutory rape crimes (Troup-Leasure & Snyder, 2005) 76% of male offenders and 55% of female offenders are 24 or younger. Today we’ll be focusing on parts 2 and 3, which together make a rather epic set of survey data. The YA survey targeted participants between the ages of 18 and 24. The reason being that people in this age range are the most likely perpetrators of statutory rape crimes. In fact, 76% of male offenders and 55% of female offenders are 24 or younger (Troup-Leasure & Snyder, 2005). The Parents survey was specifically for parents of teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Parents can have a large impact on which statutory rape cases are prosecuted, and while there is a lack of empirical data on the role of parents, commentators speak to the importance of parents’ attitudes on the enforcement of these laws. Quote by Mark Chaffin, researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth at the University of Oklahoma.

13 Method Participants for both online surveys recruited from Mechanical Turk (www.mturk.com) Surveys assess participants’: Knowledge of the statutory rape laws in their state Opinions on what the laws should be Perceptions of fairness regarding possible penalties Sources of knowledge about laws Opinions of sex offender registry Data was collected using Mechanical Turk, an offshoot of Amazon.com – Mturk is an online interface where users are paid small sums of money for completing online surveys. Parents were paid $.50 for their longer survey, YA paid $.25 Surveys assessed participants’ knowledge and opinions of statutory rape laws, perceptions of fairness of the possible consequences, where they got their knowledge of the laws, and their opinions of the sex offender registry for convicted statutory rape offenders.

14 Method Parents: Young Adults: 11 survey conditions
5 vignettes that correspond to the Young Adult conditions, representing major levels of crime in Virginia Asked to pretend they are the parent of either the older or younger partner- would they report the relationship, or try to convince their ‘child’ to end the relationship? 1 condition with no vignette Young Adults: 12 survey conditions 11 vignettes varying age and age differences between older and younger partner Represent 5 of Virginia’s statutory rape laws - additional conditions come from varying gender and exact ages of older and younger partner 1 condition with no vignette 5 gradations: no crime, various classes of misdemeanor and felony sexual realtionships YA no vignette- that condition allowed us to assess young adults’ perceptions of maturity of the younger partner, responsibility of both the younger and older partner, and whether the older partner should be required to register as a sex offender across a range of ages and age gaps Parents no vignette- parents were additionally asked about factors that might lead them either to report or not to report their child’s statutory relationship to the police So, all said, we have 23 different conditions across two samples. We began developing these scenarios a year ago, and are nearing the end of data collection! Todd is now going to talk about the conditions in more detail and tell you a bit about what we’ve found so far.

15 Demographics Young Adult Parents N = 305 64% Female (Mothers)
M age = SD = 7.67 Ethnicity 78% Caucasian Education = 2 yr college deg 92% Heterosexual 67% Married; 13% Divorced/Widowed HH income = $30,000-40,000 N = 355 50 % Female M age = SD = 1.98 Ethnicity 77% Caucasian Education = Some college 81% Heterosexual 50% single; 36% in rx not married HH income = $30, ,000 Need to make comment perhaps that actual N today is appx 470 for YA and 450 for Parents. Fairly well educated and computer literate.

16 Statutory Laws Potentially, very confusing!
What are the laws in your state? Potentially, very confusing! Ask, “by show of hands, how many people here are parents of teens? Anyone familiar with the dating laws in VA?” Not to get into the specifics, but it can be very confusing. And this is a room of well-educated people concerned about healthy teenage/child development.

17 Knowledge So what DO young adults and Parents know about statutory rape laws? 2009: Complied list of statutory laws for each state In order to measure, we had to compile a list of existing laws pertaining to these issues. This project was done in collaboration with some law students back in 2009 (confirm this). Be sure to mention that the lab is actively research the most current laws for each state.

18 Older Partner Age and Gender Younger Partner Age and Gender
Knowledge Older Partner Age and Gender Younger Partner Age and Gender Crime Committed Maximum Punishment 16 – boy 13 – girl Class 6 felony- Carnal knowledge of a child 13 or 14 when older partner is minor and 3 or more years older 5 years in jail; 1 year in jail and $2,500 fine 14 – girl Class 4 misdemeanor- carnal knowledge of a child where the younger partner is 13 or 14 and the older partner is a minor and less than 3 years older Fine of not more than $250 18 – boy Class 4 felony- carnal knowledge of a child 13 or 14 when older partner is more than 4 years older 10 years in jail and $100,000 fine 20 – boy 16 – girl Class 1 misdemeanor- delinquency of a minor 1 year in jail and $2,500 fine 24 – boy So what you are seeing now is the 5 different dating scenarios that both the YA and Parent sample read as part of the study. We chose these 5 scenarios for a couple different reasons: a) because we wanted to vary age difference b/t partners and the actual age of both partners…and b) because these 5 scenarios are classified differently in the state of VA and the punishments vary as a result. You can see how each of these are classified here in VA in the CC column.

19 Knowledge Dating Scenarios
A ___ year old boy and his ___ year old girlfriend have sex. Both of them agreed and were willing. Neither was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. 1) 16 yr old – 13 yr old 2) 16 yr old – 14 yr old 3) 18 yr old – 14 yr old 4) 20 yr old – 16 yr old 5) 24 yr old – 14 yr old These 5 dating scenarios were asked of both the YA sample and the Parent sample. Notice that we not only varied the age difference but also the ages of the younger and older partner(s). Also, to reiterate was Alison mentioned earlier. All of the older partners in these scenarios are male because they are more likely to be charged with a statutory violation. And evidence showing that teenage girls commonly, but not always date older partners.

20 Knowledge According to the law in your state, is this relationship a crime? Yes No I don’t Know

21 Knowledge Dating Scenario Correct Incorrect DK
YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old (n=80) 27% 37% 40% 24% 33% 39% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old (n=98) 41% 52% 21% 26% 38% 22% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old (n=109) 74% 3% 23% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old (n=92) 44% 55% 25% 31% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old (n=76) 79% 87% 0% 1% 12%

22 Knowledge Dating Scenario Correct Incorrect DK
YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old (n=80) 27% 37% 40% 24% 33% 39% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old (n=98) 41% 52% 21% 26% 38% 22% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old (n=109) 74% 3% 23% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old (n=92) 44% 55% 25% 31% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old (n=76) 79% 87% 0% 1% 12% 1st – call attention that overall, people are not very accurate when it comes to identifying illegal statutory rx’s. Especially in the first two scenarios involving two minors in a consensual sexual relationship.

23 Knowledge Dating Scenario Correct Incorrect DK
YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old (n=80) 27% 37% 40% 24% 33% 39% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old (n=98) 41% 52% 21% 26% 38% 22% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old (n=109) 74% 3% 23% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old (n=92) 44% 55% 25% 31% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old (n=76) 79% 87% 0% 1% 12% 2nd – Interestingly, call attention to the scenarios 3 and 4. Both YA and parents are more accurate at identifying an illegal rx b/t a yr old than a rx b/t a yr old. Perhaps, reflecting an incorrect notion that 16 is more frequently the “age of consent” than is the actual case.

24 Knowledge Dating Scenario Correct Incorrect DK
YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old (n=80) 27% 37% 40% 24% 33% 39% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old (n=98) 41% 52% 21% 26% 38% 22% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old (n=109) 74% 3% 23% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old (n=92) 44% 55% 25% 31% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old (n=76) 79% 87% 0% 1% 12% 3rd – Last scenario. While the overwhelming majority of participants correctly identified the 24 – 14 yr old scenario as being illegal, 21% of YA’s reported they didn’t know and 12% of parents reported that they didn’t know. Which to clarify, this is in fact a felony in all 50 states.

25 Knowledge for groups No difference between parents and young adults knowledge accuracy. χ2’s > .26 No gender differences (χ2’s > .15) Parents: Fathers v. Mothers (ns) YA: Male v. Female (ns) No differences between Mothers and Fathers or Male/Female for YA’s. In other words, Mothers DO NOT know the law for statutory rx’s better than Fathers. And females are NOT better at identifying illegal rx’s than males.

26 Conclusion Knowledge of Statutory Rape Laws:
Parents and young adults have relatively inaccurate understanding of statutory rape laws. So, parents and young adults are equally inaccurate at identifying possible statutory relationships as illegal. Next, we wanted to know what people’s opinions were about these relationships. So…for each scenario we simply asked them, “In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?

27 Public Opinion In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?
% Probably – Definitely Should NOT % Maybe % Probably – Definitely Should YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old 60% 49% 21% 20% 19% 31% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old 88% 63% 12% 26% 0% 11% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old 30% 32% 33% 36% 46% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old 47% 34% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old 17% 14% 4% 75% 65%

28 Public Opinion In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?
% Probably – Definitely Should NOT % Maybe % Probably – Definitely Should YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old 60% 49% 21% 20% 19% 31% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old 88% 63% 12% 26% 0% 11% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old 30% 32% 33% 36% 46% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old 47% 34% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old 17% 14% 4% 75% 65% 1st – notice that a majority of people believe that a consenting sexual rx between two minors (at least in these scenarios) should not be a crime.

29 Public Opinion In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?
% Probably – Definitely Should NOT % Maybe % Probably – Definitely Should YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old 60% 49% 21% 20% 19% 31% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old 88% 63% 12% 26% 0% 11% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old 30% 32% 33% 36% 46% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old 47% 34% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old 17% 14% 4% 75% 65% 2nd – Stark contrast b/t relationships 2 and 3. Potentially, in both scenarios partners are in school together. (Freshman – Junior/Soph v. Freshman – Senior). Yet as you can see they are perceived very differently as you can see.

30 Public Opinion In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?
% Probably – Definitely Should NOT % Maybe % Probably – Definitely Should YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old 60% 49% 21% 20% 19% 31% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old 88% 63% 12% 26% 0% 11% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old 30% 32% 33% 36% 46% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old 47% 34% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old 17% 14% 4% 75% 65% 3rd – Here we have an adult having a sexual rx with a minor in both scenarios. Also, we have a four year age difference b/t the two partners. Yet, YA’s are more likely to report they think a relationship b/t a 20yr – 16 yr old should NOT be a crime. *Notice, we do NOT see the same difference between scenarios 3 and 4 in the parent sample.*

31 Public Opinion In your opinion, should this relationship be a crime?
% Probably – Definitely Should NOT % Maybe % Probably – Definitely Should YA Par 1) 16 yr – 13 yr old 60% 49% 21% 20% 19% 31% 2) 16 yr – 14 yr old 88% 63% 12% 26% 0% 11% 3) 18 yr – 14 yr old 30% 32% 33% 36% 46% 4) 20 yr – 16 yr old 47% 34% 5) 24 yr – 14 yr old 17% 14% 4% 75% 65% 4th – 17% of YA’s report that last rx probably/definitely should NOT be a crime?!?! Quite surprising. Also, notice that 14% of PARENTS reported that the last rx probably/definitely should NOT be a crime?!?! With an additional 21% saying only maybe.

32 Perceptions of groups Parents more likely to think should be a crime compared to young adults (all other ns). 20 yr – 16 yr: p = .038* 16 yr – 14 yr: p = .004** Female young adults more likely think should be a crime (all other ns). 20 yr – 16 yr: p = .004** Interestingly, no difference in opinions between mothers and fathers (all ns). However, for 16 and 14 yr old scenario, parents still mostly agree that should NOT be a crime (overall mean in maybe should NOT be range).

33 Conclusions Perceptions:
Majority of parents and young adults report relationship b/t 2 minors should NOT be a crime. In these instances where it IS a crime, does not seem to match public opinion (for both YA’s and parents). 2nd – point: Specifically, scenario 1 (16 yr – 13 old) is a class 6 felony in VA. Much less consensus on relationships b/t adults and minors suggesting that people need more information about the details and the context of the relationship (i.e. do parents know the boy??? Do they approve??? Is this a son of a friend???, etc).

34 Take home message Overall, young adults’ and parents’ knowledge and opinions quite similar. Specifically for knowledge, this can be quite problematic considering the legal consequences of engaging in these relationships Spend time in jail Possibly labeled a felon for life Could have to register as a sex offender for life… Recall: Even in 24 – 14 yr old scenario 21% of YA didn’t know and 12% of Parents didn’t know this was a crime! Anecdotally, parents who report these crimes usually just want their child to stop dating the older partner and don’t have a full understanding of what can happen to the older partner if the rx is reported to police. Last note should segway to Cristina nicely.

35 Perceptions of Sex Offender Registry in the Context of Consensual Sex Between Teens

36 What is the Sex Offender Registry?
1994 Jacob Wetterling Act; 1996 Megan’s Law; SORNA/Adam Walsh Act Prevention not punishment Deter offenders and would-be offenders Protect public by making them aware of sex offenders Allow law enforcement to monitor known sex offenders Various means of notification Juveniles required to register in 28 states (as of 1999)

37 * In states utilizing broad notification, criminal justice officials actively and widely release information about sex offenders to the public. Currently, 19 states provide this type of notification. The process for determining which offenders should be subject to notification differs from state to state. Some state statutes define this population. In other states, officials conduct risk assessments to make this determination. Still others rely on local law enforcement discretion. * States that utilize a more limited type of notification release information base on the need to protect an individual or vulnerable population from a specific sex offender. Currently, 14 states provide this type of notification. As with states in the broad community notification category, the process for determining which offenders are subject to notification differs from state to state. Organizations typically notified are child care facilities, religious organizations, public and private schools, and other entities that provide services to children or vulnerable populations. Passive Notification States that utilize passive notification require citizens or community organizations to actively seek out sex offender information themselves. Currently, 17 states allow such access. In most of these states, this information is available at local law enforcement offices or through a central state agency (typically managed by state police or department of public safety). While most are open for public inspection, others are open only to citizens at risk from a specific offender (generally determined by proximity to an offender’s residence).

38

39 The Public is in Favor 92% support the use of S.O. registries
Majority think they’re effective (54 – 90%) 78% think they’re fair 80% think they’re constitutional and not in violation of 8th or 5th amendments 75% don’t think they violate rights to privacy (37% say sex offenders have no rights) 8th – cruel and unusual punishment 5th – double jeopardy (Brannon et al., 2007; Schiavone et al., 2009; Mears et al., 2008)

40 Still in Favor? Limits where you can live and work
Those on the registry report receiving threats or actual abuse against self or property Is it a developmentally appropriate response for juveniles?

41 Is it fair for the older partner?
According to the law in at least one state, if a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old engage in a sexual relationship – even in situations where both partners were willing and agree to it - the older partner can be placed on a sex offender registry. This means that the older partner will appear as a sex offender on a registry accessible by anyone. In this particular instance, does the SOR do what it is supposed to do? Is it fair for the older partner? Does the older partner represent the type of sex offender we should really worry about?

42 % Who Somewhat – Strongly Disagree
Efficacy Statement % Who Somewhat – Strongly Disagree Mean Response (SD) Being placed on the SOR will prevent the older partner from committing a similar crime in the future. 57.1% 3.18 (1.55) The community will be safer if the older partner is on the SOR. 65.4% 2.78 (1.44) Placing the older partner on the SOR will help protect the younger partner. 72.3% 2.62 (1.42) Placing the older partner on the SOR will deter other adolescents from engaging in this kind of behavior. 46.6% 3.37 (1.64) Placing the older partner on the SOR will help police keep the community safer by allowing them to monitor him/her. 47.1% 3.35 ( 1.51) Overall SOR Efficacy Score (alpha = .85) - 3.06 (1.17) 1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Somewhat Disagree, 4 – Somewhat Agree, 5 – Agree, 6 – Strongly Agree

43 % Somewhat Agree – Strongly Agree
Statement % Somewhat Agree – Strongly Agree Mean (SD) Placing the older partner on the SOR could negatively affect the younger partner. 69.9% 4.11(1.49) The older partner will be unfairly disadvantaged if placed on the SOR. 74.3% 4.38 (1.54) Compared to other people on the SOR, we do not need to be as worried about the older partner in this scenario. 71.3% 4.37 (1.54) % No Should the older partner be required to register as a sex offender? 61% Should the older partner be required to register for life? 90.3% 1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Somewhat Disagree, 4 – Somewhat Agree, 5 – Agree, 6 – Strongly Agree

44 What Correlates to Opinions of SOR?
Parental status and gender do not. Nor does income or education For YA, neither does time spent around adolescents or having been in a relationship with someone under 18 when you were over 18

45 What Correlates with Opinions of SOR?
Question Religiosity Political Affiliation Relationship <15 when > 18 Overall Effectiveness of SOR .135** n.s. Fairness to older partner -.099* .147** Should we worry about older partner compared to other sex offenders? -.112** .136** .160* (YA only) Should he have to register? -.172* .082* Should have to register for life? .092*

46 Discussion There isn’t overwhelming support for the SOR in all cases.
It’s likely that people may find the SOR even less favorable when the older partner is a minor. Given the significant implications of being placed on an SOR, perhaps this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, especially where youth are involved.

47 Future Directions In our study
What factors lead parents to report statutory relationships? At what age does the public feel adolescents are old enough to consent to sex? Prevalence of statutory relationships. Where do people get their information on statutory relationships? Do parents talk to their children about the legal (& other) consequences of stat. relationships?

48 Future Directions In future studies
What factors lead prosecutors to go forward with these cases? At what age are adolescents actually competent enough to consent to sex? What are effective ways to educate the public, and especially youth, about statutory rape laws? What are the real experiences of juveniles and young adults placed on the sex offender registry? What are the experiences of the “victims” in these cases?

49 Thank You! Youth-Nex - The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development Other members of the Reppucci Lab: Dick Reppucci, Barbara Oudekerk, Siny Tsang, Tammi Walker, Lucy Guarnera, Kristen Jenkins, Mark Manning, Lauren George, Bella Pinchuk, Rebecca Newsham.

50 References Brannon, Y.N., Levenson, J.S., Fortney, T., & Baker, J.N. (2007). Attitudes about community notification: A comparison of sexual offenders and the non-offending public. Sex Abuse, 19, 369–379. Center for Sex Offender Management. (1999). Sex offender registration: Policy overview and comprehensive practices. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from Va. Code Ann. § (2011) Schiavone, S.K. & Jeglic, E.L. (2009). Public perception of sex offender social policies and the impact on sex offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 53, 679 – 695. Troup-Leasure, K., & Snyder, H. N. (2005). Statutory rape known to law enforcement (Juvenile Justice Bulletin No. NCJ ). Washington D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. Salerno, J.M., Najdowski, C.J., Stevenson, M.C., Wiley, T.R.A., Bottoms, B.L., Vaca Jr., R., Pimentel, P.S. (2010). Psychological mechanisms underlying support for juvenile sex offender registry laws: Prototypes, moral outrage, and perceived threat. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 28, 58–83.


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