Gender effects on individual verdicts and on mock jury verdicts in a simulated acquaintance rape trial.

Fischer, G. J. (1997). Gender effects on individual verdicts and on mock jury verdicts in a simulated acquaintance rape trial. Sex Roles, 36, 491-501.

Since more women than men college students vote guilty in a simulated acquaintance rape trial [e.g., G. J. Fischer (1991) “Cognitive predictors of not-guilty verdicts in a Simulated Acquaintance Rape Trial,”Psychological Reports, Vol. 68, pp. 1199–1206], guilty mock jury verdicts were expected to increase as a function of the number of women on the jury (i.e., 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12). However, guilty verdicts did not increase significantly until either females were an overwhelming majority (i.e., 10 women to 2 men) or the jury was all female. Even in the latter conditions, guilty verdicts were fewer than would be expected based on the 86% of women and 66% of men voting guilty on a survey completed after reading about the trial, but before serving on a jury. Although a very large majority of females were needed to increase guilty verdicts, a majority appeared to lessen the likelihood of not guilty verdicts. For example, when a majority of jurors were female, 0/18 hung juries leaned toward a not guilty verdict vs. 11/34 juries leaning toward a not guilty verdict when less than or equal to one half of the jurors were female. Most of the students were White (85%), with 4% Asian, 3.2% Black, 3.2% Hispanic, and 4% “Other.” Proportion of female jurors related to verdicts in nonlinear fashion. Only when women comprised an overwhelming majority (5:1 or higher) did the percentage of convictions increase significantly relative to other compositions.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02766686