The authors thank Roy Cevalles, Jeremy Ailing, Zachary Ailing, and Joshua Walters for their invaluable research assistance.
Effects of Victim, Defendant, and Juror Gender on Decisions in Child Sexual Assault Cases1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 32, Issue 10, pages 1993–2021, October 2002
How to Cite
Quas, J. A., Bottoms, B. L., Haegerich, T. M. and Nysse-Carris, K. L. (2002), Effects of Victim, Defendant, and Juror Gender on Decisions in Child Sexual Assault Cases. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32: 1993–2021. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2002.tb02061.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
We examined the combined influence of juror, victim, and defendant gender on jurors’ decisions in child sexual abuse cases. Mock jurors read scenarios of an assault case involving a man or woman defendant accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy or girl. Jurors then rendered verdicts and rated the defendant's and victim's believability and responsibility for the abuse. Female jurors were generally more pro-victim in case judgments than were male jurors. Additionally, a woman perpetrator was evaluated more leniently than was a man perpetrator, especially by male jurors when the victim was a boy. Case judgments were unrelated to jurors’ social conservatism, sexism, or attitudes toward homosexuality. Results have implications for understanding social perceptions of mixed- and same-gender abuse involving adolescent victims, and juror decision making in man- and woman-perpetrated child sexual assault cases.