American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 181–200 | Cite as

Women’s hostility toward women in rape trials: Testing the intra-female gender hostility thesis

  • John Stuart BatchelderEmail author
  • Douglas D. Koski
  • Ferris R. Byxbe


This study examined the intra-female gender hostility hypothesis in rape trials. The relationship between the dependent variable, verdict, and a number of juror characteristics was examined among volunteer mock jurors. Each mock jury deliberated to verdict after reading one of three versions of a scripted consent-defense rape case. The study also examined the extent that gender predicts a guilty verdict among jurors in rape cases using logistic regression analysis. The results showed that gender had a statistically significant effect on juror verdicts and significantly contributed to the ability to predict a juror’s decision.


Rape Myth Rape Victim Guilty Verdict Rape Case Jury Verdict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Berger, V. (1981). Man’s trial, woman’s tribulation: Rape cases in the courtroom.Columbia Law Review, 77, 1–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blumberg, A. (1967). The practice of law as a confidence game: Organizational cooptation of a profession.Law and Society Review, 1, 15–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borgida, E. (1981). Legal reform of rape laws. In L. Bickman (Ed.),Applied social psychology annual (Vol. 2, pp. 211–241). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Borgida, E., & Brekke, N. (1985). Psycholegal research on rape trials. In A. Wolbert Burgess (Ed.),Rape and sexual assault: A research handbook (pp. 313–342). New York: Garland.Google Scholar
  5. Borgida, E., & White, P. (1978). Social perception of rape victims: The impact of legal reform.Law and Human Behavior, 2, 339–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bridgeman, D., & Marlowe, D. (1979). Jury decision making: An empirical study based on actual felony trials.Journal of Applied Psychology, 64, 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burger, J. (1981). Motivational biases in the attribution of responsibility for an accident: A meta-analysis of the defensive-attribution hypothesis.Psychological Bulletin, 90, 496–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burt, M. R. (1980). Cultural myths in support for rape.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cann, A., Calhoun, L. G., & Selby, J. W. (1979). Attributing responsibility to the victim of rape: Influence of information regarding past sexual experience.Human Relations, 32, 56–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Charrow, R., & Charrow, V. (1979). Making language understandable: A psycholinguistic study of jury instructions.Columbia Law Review, 79, 1306–1374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Christie, N. (1986). The ideal victim. In E. Fattah (Ed.),From crime policy to victim policy: Reorienting the criminal justice system (pp. 17–30). New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cowan, C. L., Thompson, W. C., & Ellsworth, P. C. (1984). The effects of death qualification on jurors’ predisposition to convict and on the quality of deliberation.Law and Human Behavior, 8, 53–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cowan, G. (2000). Women’s hostility toward women and rape and sexual harassment myths.Violence Against Women, 6(3), 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cowan, G., Neighbors, C., DeLaMoreaux, J., & Behnke, C. (1988). Women’s hostility toward women.Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22(2), 267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diamond, S. S. (1990). Scientific jury selection: What social scientists know and do not know.Judicature, 73, 178–183.Google Scholar
  16. Ellsworth, P. (1993). Some steps between attitudes and verdicts. In R. Hastie (Ed.),Inside the juror: The psychology of juror decision making (pp. 42–64). New York: University of Cambridge Press.Google Scholar
  17. English, P., & Sales, B. (1997). A ceiling or consistency effect for the comprehension of jury instructions.Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 3, 381–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Estrich, S. (1995). Palm beach stories. In J. Temkin (Ed.),Rape and the criminal justice system: Criminology, criminal justice, and penology (pp. 135–163). Brookfield, VT: Dartmouth.Google Scholar
  19. Feild, H. S., & Bienen, L. B. (1980).Jurors and rape: A study in psychology and law. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  20. Feldman-Summers, S., & Lindner, K. (1976). Perceptions of victims and defendants in criminal assault cases.Criminal Justice and Behavior, 3, 135–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fischer, G. J. (1991). Cognitive predictors of not-guilty verdicts in a simulated acquaintance rape trial.Psychological Reports, 68, 1199–1206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Frederick, J. T. (1978). Juror behavior: A psychologist examines jury selection.Ohio Northern University Law Review, 5, 571–585.Google Scholar
  24. Gerbasi, K. C., Zuckerman, M., & Reis, H. T. (1977). Justice needs a new blindfold: A review of mock jury research.Psychological Bulletin, 84, 323–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hafemeister, T. L., Sales, B. D., & Suggs, D. L. (1984). Behavioral expertise in jury selection. In D. Weisstub (Ed.),Law and mental health: International perspectives (Vol. 1, pp. 123–161). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hall, H. J. (1992). Jury selection in sex offense cases. In B. Morosco (Ed.),The prosecution and defense of sex crimes (pp. 3–4). New York: Matthew Bender & Company.Google Scholar
  27. Hans, V. P. (1966). The conduct of voir dire: A psychological analysis.Justice System Journal, 11, 40–58.Google Scholar
  28. Hibey, R. A. (1973). The trial of a rape case: An advocate’s analysis of corroboration, consent and character.American Criminal Law Review, 11, 309–334.Google Scholar
  29. Holmstrom, L. L., & Burgess, A. W. (1978).Victim of rape: Institutional reactions. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  30. Horowitz, I. A. (1988). The impact of judicial instructions, argument and challenges on jury decision making.Law and Human Behavior, 12, 439–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hotchkill, J. (1978, December 3). The realities of rape.San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, p. 29.Google Scholar
  32. Johnson, C., & Haney, C. (1994). Felony voir dire: An exploratory study of its content and effect.Law and Human Behavior, 18, 487–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jones, C., & Aronson, E. (1973). Attribution of fault to a rape victim as a function of respectability of the victim.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 26, 415–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jones, S. (1987). Judge versus attorney-conducted voir dire: An empirical investigation of juror candor.Law and Human Behavior, 11, 131–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kahn, A., Gilbert, L. A., Latta, R. M., Deutsch, C., Hagen, R., Hill, M., McGaughey, T., Ryen, A. H., & Wilson, D. W. (1977). Attribution of fault to a rape victim as a function of respectability of the victim: A failure to replicate or extend.Representative Research in Social Psychology, 8, 98–107.Google Scholar
  36. Kalven, H., Jr., & Zeisel, H. (1966).The American jury. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.Google Scholar
  37. Kanekar, S., & Kolsawalla, M. B. (1977). Responsibility in relation to respectability.Journal of Social Psychology, 102, 183–188.Google Scholar
  38. Kerr, N. L., Kramer, G. P., Carroll J. S., & Alfini, J. J. (1991). On the effectiveness of voir dire in criminal cases with prejudicial pretrial publicity: An empirical study.American University Law Review, 40, 665–701.Google Scholar
  39. Kramer, G. P., Kerr N. L., & Carroll, J. S. (1990). Pretrial publicity, judicial remedies and jury bias.Law and Human Behavior, 14, 409–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Koski, D. D. (1999). Sex crime jury selection: A social scientific analysis.Criminal Law Bulletin, 35, 42–82.Google Scholar
  41. Koski, D. D. (2000). Decision-making by juries in sex crime cases: Are acquittals related to jurors’ perception of victim?Sex Offender Law Report, 1, 20–23.Google Scholar
  42. Koski, D. D. (2002). Jury decision making in rape trials: A review and empirical assessment.Criminal Law Bulletin, 38(1), 21–159.Google Scholar
  43. LaFree, G. D., Reskin, B. F., & Visher, C. A. (1985). Jurors’ responses to victims’ behavior and legal issues in sexual assault trials.Social Problems, 32, 389–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lerner, M. J. (1970). The desire for justice and reactions to victims. In J. Macaulay & L. Berkowitz (Eds.),Altruism and helping behavior (pp. 205–229). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  45. Lerner, M. J., & Matthews, G. (1967). Reactions to suffering of others under conditions of indirect responsibility.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 319–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lerner, M. J., & Simmons, C. H. (1966). Observer’s reaction to the ‘innocent victim:’ Compassion or rejection?Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 203–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Luginbuhl, J., & Mullin, C. (1981). Rape and responsibility: How much is the victim blamed?Sex Roles, 7, 547–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Matoesian, G. M. (1993).Reproducing rape: Domination through talk in the courtroom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  49. Matoesian, G. M. (1997). ‘I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstances:’ Verbal artistry (and wizardy) in the Kennedy-Smith rape trial. In M. Travers& J. Manzo (Eds.),Law in action: Ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approaches to law (pp. 142–143). Brookfield, VT: Ashgate/Dartmouth.Google Scholar
  50. Muehlenhard, C. L., & Hollabaugh, L. C. (1988). Do women sometimes say no when they mean yes?: The prevalence and correlates of women’s token resistance to sex.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 872–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Muehlenhard, C. L., & Linton, M. A. (1987). Date rape and sexual aggression in dating situations: Incidence and risk factors.Journal of Counseling Psychology, 34(2), 186–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nelligan, P. J. (1988). The effects of the gender of jurors on sexual assault verdicts.Sociology and Social Research, 72, 249–251.Google Scholar
  53. Ogloff, J. R. P., & Vidmar, N. (1994). The impact of pretrial publicity on jurors: A study to compare the relative effects of television and print media in a child sex abuse case.Law and Human Behavior, 18, 507–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Paulson, K. (1979). Attribution of fault to a rape victim as a function of locus of control.Journal of Social Psychology, 107, 131–132.Google Scholar
  55. Reifman, A., Gusick, S., & Ellsworth, P. (1992). Real jurors’ understanding of the law in real cases.Law and Human Behavior, 16, 539–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Reinhard, J. C., & Reynolds, R. A. (1978). The effects of inadmissible testimony objections and rulings on jury decisions.Journal of the American Forensic Association, 15, 91–109.Google Scholar
  57. Robin, G. D. (1977). Forcible rape: Institutionalized sexism in the criminal justice system.Crime and Delinquency, 23, 136–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rose, V. M. (1977). Rape as a social problem: A byproduct of the feminist movement.Social Problems, 25, 75–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rubin, Z., & Peplau, L. A. (1973). Belief in a just world and reactions to another’s lot: A study in the national draft lottery.Journal of Social Issues, 29, 73–93.Google Scholar
  60. Rubin, Z., & Peplau, L. A. (1975). Who believes in a just world?Journal of Social Issues, 31, 65–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rumsey, M. G., & Rumsey, J. M. (1977). A case of rape: Sentencing judgments of males and females.Psychological Reports, 41, 459–465.Google Scholar
  62. Ryan, W. (1971).Blaming the victim. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  63. Schulman, J., Kairys, D., Harring, S., Bonora, B., & Christie, R. (1976). Systematic jury selection.Law & Psychology Review, 2, 31–42.Google Scholar
  64. Severance, L. J., Greene, E., & Loftus, E. F. (1984). Toward criminal jury instructions that jurors can understand.The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 75, 198–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Severance, L. J., & Loftus, E. F. (1982). Improving the ability of jurors to comprehend and apply criminal jury instructions.Law and Human Behavior, 14, 235–248.Google Scholar
  66. Shaver, K. G. (1970). Defensive attribution: Effects of severity and relevance on the responsibility assigned for an accident.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 14, 101–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shaver, K. G. (1985).The attribution of blame. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  68. Simon, R. J., & Eimerman, T. (1971). The jury finds not guilty: Another look at media influence on the jury.Journalism Quarterly, 48, 343–344.Google Scholar
  69. Smith, R. E., Keating, J. P., Hester, R. K., & Mitchell, H. E. (1976). Role and justice considerations in the attribution of responsibility to a rape victim.Journal of Research in Personality, 10, 346–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Spence, G. (1989).With justice for none: Destroying an American myth. New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
  71. Sue, S., Smith, R. E., & Gilbert, R. (1974). Biasing effect of pretrial publicity on judicial decisions.Journal of Criminal Justice, 2, 163–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sue, S., Smith, R. E., & Pedroza, G. (1975). Authoritarianism, pretrial publicity and awareness of bias in simulated jurors.Psychological Reports, 37, 1299–1302.Google Scholar
  73. Suggs, D. L., & Sales, B. D. (1978). The art and science of conducting the voir dire.Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 9, 367–388.Google Scholar
  74. Taslitz, A. E. (1999).Rape and the culture of the courtroom. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Thompson, W. C., Cowan, C. L., Ellsworth, P. C., & Harrington, J. C. (1984). Death penalty attitudes and conviction proneness: The translation of attitudes into verdicts.Law and Human Behavior, 8, 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Thompson, W. C., Fong, G. T., & Rosenhan, D. L. (1981). Inadmissible evidence and juror verdicts.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 453–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vidmar, N., & Judson, J. (1981). The use of social science in a change of venue application.Canadian Bar Review, 59, 76–102.Google Scholar
  78. Vidmar, N., & Melnitzer, J. (1984). Juror prejudice: An empirical study of a challenge for cause.Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 22, 487–501.Google Scholar
  79. Villemur, N. K., & Hyde, J. S. (1983). Effects of sex of defense attorney, sex of juror, and age and attractiveness of the victim on mock juror decision-making in a rape case.Sex Roles, 9, 879–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. White, B. H., & Kurpius, S. E. (1999). Attitudes toward rape victims: Effects of gender and professional status.Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(9), 989–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Stuart Batchelder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Douglas D. Koski
    • 2
  • Ferris R. Byxbe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Criminal JusticeNorth Georgia College and UniversityDahlonegaGeorgia
  2. 2.National Center for the Advanced Study of Social ForcesUSA
  3. 3.Sul Ross State University - Rio Grande CollegeUSA

Personalised recommendations