Two experiments investigated mock-juror perceptions of intimate stalking using Kentucky’s (United States) anti-stalking legislation. Experiment 1 used a mock-juror methodology in which 177 undergraduates (87 men and 90 women) from a large southeastern US university read a stalking trial summary and rendered individual judgments as mock jurors. The main research question of Experiment 1 was how participant gender impacted trial judgments (e.g., verdict) when the gender of both the defendant and victim were manipulated. Overall, the results showed that men rendered significantly fewer guilty verdicts than women, particularly in conditions that included the prototypical type of intimate stalking (female victim/male defendant). In Experiment 2, also using a mock-juror methodology, 129 undergraduates (51 men and 78 women) from a large southeastern U.S. university read a stalking trial summary (involving a female victim and male defendant) and rendered individual judgments as mock jurors. The main research question of Experiment 2 focused on whether victim fear (high or low) impacted trial judgments (e.g., verdict). The results yielded an interaction of participant gender and victim fear. Specifically, whereas different levels of fear did not impact women, men yielded fewer guilty verdicts in the low victim fear condition compared to the high victim fear condition. The results of the present experiments are discussed in terms of the implications of stalking allegations brought to trial.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2011
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