(STUDY FINDS) – There are certain crimes, such as sexual assault or child abuse, that immediately elicit a visceral reaction. In many of these cases, it comes to light that the perpetrator's family or friends did absolutely nothing to report them to police once they became aware of their actions, and some even helped their loved ones cover up the crimes. While most people's reaction to these stories is they would never fail to report such a crime, a new University of Michigan study finds that you may feel differently if it's your own kin or close friend.
Researchers say that, in fact, people are much less likely to report crimes such as thievery, blackmail, or groping when a family member or close friend is the guilty party.
Perhaps even more troubling, the study concludes that as the severity of a crime increases, people actually become more protective of their loved ones. At the end of the day, most people just don't want to sacrifice their relationship with the guilty party, regardless of society's standards. Researchers say this finding was universal ever after accounting for factors like gender, political beliefs, personal beliefs, and even level of disgust.
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