This study examined the influence of victim sex, mock juror sex, and type of child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect) on mock jurors’ assessments of eyewitness and defendant integrity, continuous guilt ratings, dichotomous verdicts, and sentencing recommendations. Participants read one of eight versions of a trial transcript and then answered a self-report questionnaire. Female mock jurors were significantly more likely to find the defendant guilty overall. Moreover, female mock jurors recommended significantly longer sentences for defendants in sexual abuse cases; whereas, male mock jurors recommended significantly longer sentences for defendants in sexual and physical abuse cases. Male mock jurors perceived the defendant more favorably than female mock jurors; whereas, female mock jurors perceived the alleged victim more favorable than male mock jurors. These results suggest that juror sex may be an influential factor in child abuse cases overall.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Child abuse, Child neglect, Emotional abuse, Juror decision making, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.03.025
Journal Child Abuse and Neglect
Citation
Pettalia, J. (Jennifer), Pozzulo, J, & Reed, J. (Jennifer). (2017). The influence of sex on mock jurors’ verdicts across type of child abuse cases. Child Abuse and Neglect, 69, 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.03.025