Kieran McCartan is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He has worked on issues concerning the social construction of crime, particularly sex crime.
In 2004, McCartan published an article which described research into public opinions about paedophilia by surveying the views of a sample of people from Belfast and Leicester. The article concluded that there was a 'moral panic' regarding paedophilia in contemporary society, but (more surprisingly) that the public were quite well informed about the subject and did not necessarily accept the most extreme solutions offered by parts of the media.
McCartan has publicly commented on the difficulties of undertaking balanced research on paedophilia: "...when I talked, formally and informally, to other colleagues, academic and non-academic, who were not involved in sexual abuse-orientated or criminology work, they could not understand why I would want to carry out research or try to understand paedophiles and society's reaction to them. They were often dismissive of paedophiles, seeing them as stereotypes, and offered harsh as well as unrealistic responses - much like the public."
- McCartan, K. F. (2004). ‘HERE THERE BE MONSTERS; The public's perception of paedophiles with particular reference to Belfast and Leicester.' Medicine, Science and the Law, 44, 327-342.