Legal and Social Issues Research Lab

Recent Graduate Projects


Graduate Thesis Projects


Joey Nicole Pucci - Preliminary Validation of An Attitudes Toward Prostitution Scale

The purpose of this thesis was to examine the quality of the Attitudes Towards Prostitution (ATP) Scale while conducting a preliminary validation. A total of 325 participants completed the research for this study.  Prior to the study, a portion of the ATP scale had been used in a diversion program for men arrested for soliciting prostitution, the Prostitution Offender Program of British Columbia (POPBC).  An exploratory factor analysis identified multiple factors underlying the items included.  The vast majority of the ninety items tested loaded significantly in the factor analysis suggesting that they were measuring the same underlying construct.  To improve the clarity of the measure, eighteen of the ninety items were dropped from the original scale.  The factors in the seventy-two item analysis revealed salient coefficients on four factors. 


Krystal Letourneau - Attitudes of Human Trafficking in Nevada

A form of modern day slavery is going on in this country that indentures and oppresses many young children, women, and men, forcing them into prostitution or domestic servitude. This modern slavery is called human trafficking and new efforts are beginning to address this social problem in the United States.  For example, the US is attempting to increase its prosecution of the traffickers or pimps. The United States has a policy in place that allows the victims of trafficking to stay in the United States as a witness until their traffickers are prosecuted. Once the trial is over, however, the victims are then forced to leave and return to their home country (Congress 2000).

The scientific community has no idea if the general public has recognized human trafficking is even a problem or is aware of the extent of the problem due to a dearth of research. It is important to gauge the general public’s understanding of the problem of trafficking because if the general public assumes the problem is quite small or only happens in other countries, then it is possible that politicians have the same assumptions.  Any legislation based on misinformation may by problematic and not assist the victims it intends to. This study focused on perceptions of human trafficking among students currently living in a State with one of the largest trafficking problems in the United States (Farley, 2006).           Participants were polled as to their perceptions of victims of trafficking. Their attitudes were considered in light of the assumptions expressed in the Trafficking of Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its two amendments.