The effects of victim gender identity, juror gender, and judicial instructions on victim blaming, crime severity ratings, and verdicts in sexual assault trials

Date
2022-02-18
Authors
Carter, Lisa M.
Goodmon, Leilani B.
Urs, Medhini
Rutledge-Jukes, Heath
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Abstract
Transgender individuals may experience social discrimination and unfair legal considerations as crime victims. The current purpose was to investigate the relationship between the participant/jurors’ gender, the victims’ gender identity, and judge’s instructions to ignore the gender identity of the victim on perceptions of the victim and the crime and verdicts rendered in a sexual assault case. Overall, crime severity ratings were significantly lower for the trans male victim compared to the cisgender female victim. Male participants reported lower crime severity ratings for trials involving transgender victims compared to cisgender victims. However, victim blaming, likelihood that the defendant committed the crime, sentencing recommendations, verdict confidence, and conviction rates did not vary by the victim’s gender identity, the participant’s gender identity, nor the judge’s instructions. Participant gender as a predictor of verdict approached significance, indicating a trend for males to render more not guilty verdicts and females to render more guilty verdicts. In summary, male jurors perceived the crimes involving transgender victims as less severe and this may have impacted the rate of not guilty verdicts.
Description
Keywords
Transgender people, Verdicts, Victims of crimes, Jurors
Citation
Carter, L. M., Goodmon, L. B., Urs, M., & Rutledge-Jukes, H. (2022). The effects of victim gender identity, juror gender, and judicial instructions on victim blaming, crime severity ratings, and verdicts in sexual assault trials. Journal of Homosexuality. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2021.2018877
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