n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The influence of gender, age and race on the attitude of South Africans towards the death penalty

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The purpose of this study was to determine people's attitudes towards the death penalty. The aims of this research study were achieved by gathering data from a number of respondents aged 16 and older at several churches in the Bloemfontein area. Four denominations and six churches with 400 respondents were involved in the study. A biographical questionnaire as well as a Death Penalty Attitude Scale was used. The influence of three independent variables such as gender, age and race were investigated. A factorial analysis of variance was used. After the statistical analysis, the variables found to have the greatest influence on people's attitudes towards the death penalty were race and gender. The group as a whole had a negative attitude towards the death penalty. The white group was significantly more positive towards the death penalty than the black and coloured groups, while males' attitudes towards the death penalty were significantly more positive than that of females'. The variable age was not found to have a significant effect on the respondents' attitudes towards the death penalty.

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