Campus

Gainesville

Publication date

2-18-2020

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Book or Journal Information

The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in the Journal of Homosexuality, 18-Feb-2020, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/10.1080/00918369.2020.1717839

Keywords

juror decision making, transgender, gay, extralegal bias

Abstract

This study examined whether defendants’ gender identity and/or sexual orientation influenced jurors’ decisions of guilt across several crimes and what juror attitudes predicted these decisions. In a mixed model design, mock jurors (N = 300) were randomly presented three crime vignettes (prostitution, vandalism, marijuana possession) and three types of defendants (cisgender heterosexual female, cisgender gay male, transgender heterosexual female). After making judgments of guilt, participants completed measures on sexism, homonegativity, transphobia, and trust in legal authorities. Jurors were more likely to believe transgender heterosexual females were guilty when compared to cisgender heterosexual females, but were not more likely to believe cisgender gay males were guilty compared to cisgender heterosexual females. Transphobia had a small association with these decisions and was not a stronger predictor for transgender defendants’ guilt than for all defendants. Rather, trust in legal authorities was more strongly associated with the guilt decisions than transphobia for all defendants.

Author Biography

Dr. Ringger is a professor of Psychological Science.

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Attitudinal Predictors of Juror Decisions on Gender and Sexual Minority Defendants

This study examined whether defendants’ gender identity and/or sexual orientation influenced jurors’ decisions of guilt across several crimes and what juror attitudes predicted these decisions. In a mixed model design, mock jurors (N = 300) were randomly presented three crime vignettes (prostitution, vandalism, marijuana possession) and three types of defendants (cisgender heterosexual female, cisgender gay male, transgender heterosexual female). After making judgments of guilt, participants completed measures on sexism, homonegativity, transphobia, and trust in legal authorities. Jurors were more likely to believe transgender heterosexual females were guilty when compared to cisgender heterosexual females, but were not more likely to believe cisgender gay males were guilty compared to cisgender heterosexual females. Transphobia had a small association with these decisions and was not a stronger predictor for transgender defendants’ guilt than for all defendants. Rather, trust in legal authorities was more strongly associated with the guilt decisions than transphobia for all defendants.