Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


The Color of Cruelty: Exploring Punitive Attitudes About Race and Crimes Against Animals Open Access

Survey research and vignettes were evaluated by 317 college students to test whether race of offender or type of crime is more significant in determining levels of punishment in criminal cases involving animal cruelty. Findings indicate that almost every respondent was concerned about animal cruelty, but they view certain animals as more worthy victims than others. The race of the offender had no significant impact on punitive attitudes. Exploring the "Racial Stereotypes Approach," this study addresses how racialized attitudes translate into particular beliefs about the criminal justice system and policy, specifically as they apply to animal cruelty crimes.

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