This research was supported by a research grant awarded to the authors by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant #410–97–1260).
Sexual Assault and Defendant/Victim Intoxication: Jurors' Perceptions of Guilt1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 253–274, February 2000
How to Cite
WALL, A.-M. and SCHULLER, R. A. (2000), Sexual Assault and Defendant/Victim Intoxication: Jurors' Perceptions of Guilt. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30: 253–274. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02315.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
The present research investigates how defendant and claimant intoxication operates in sexual-assault trials. Participants (N= 323) were provided with a description of a sexualassault trial in which the intoxication level (sober, moderate, extreme) of both parties was systematically varied. While the introduction of alcohol altered participants' perceptions of the case and of the parties involved, a complex interplay between the defendant's and complainant's level of intoxication was apparent. When the complainant was sober, harsher judgments were rendered when the defendant was intoxicated, particularly at the extreme level. In contrast, when the complainant was moderately intoxicated, more guilty verdicts occurred when the defendant was similarly inebriated. Finally, when the complainant was extremely intoxicated, the defendant's beverage consumption did not exert any discemible impact. Evaluations of both parties' abilities to self-regulate their behavior and for the female target to become sexually disinhibited were also influenced by the intoxication manipulation.