Portions of this research were funded by a University of Illinois at Chicago Campus Research Board grant to the first author and by a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid to the second author. The authors thank Gregg Gillming, Kendra Head, Carole Huff, C. J. Juby, Mike Pulins, Lisa Thurbush, and Kimberly Tyda for their valuable research assistance.
Effects of Victim and Defendant Race on Jurors' Decisions in Child Sexual Abuse Cases1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 1–33, January 2004
How to Cite
Bottoms, B. L., Davis, S. L. and Epstein, M. A. (2004), Effects of Victim and Defendant Race on Jurors' Decisions in Child Sexual Abuse Cases. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34: 1–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02535.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
We examined the influence of victim and defendant race, victim age, juror gender, and juror prejudice on jurors' decisions in child sexual abuse cases. In Experiments 1 and 2, mock jurors judged Black and Hispanic child victims to be more responsible for their sexual abuse than White victims. In Experiment 2, jurors assigned more guilt to defendants in cases involving victims and perpetrators of the same race compared to different races. Experiment 3 illustrated that laypeople believe same-race cases to be more plausible generally. Experiment 2 revealed that high-prejudiced White mock jurors made no more racially biased judgments than low-prejudiced mock jurors. Finally, women were generally more pro-victim in their case judgments than were men, and older victims were disadvantaged compared to younger victims in terms of perceived credibility and responsibility, and their cases were less likely to draw convictions.