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NCJ Number: 168212 Find in a Library
Title: Gender Differences in Perception and Verdict in Relation to Uncorroborated Testimony by a Child Victim
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:24  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1997)  Pages:101-116
Author(s): L A Allen; N N Nightingale
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The impact of the sex of mock jurors on their perceptions of child witnesses who were also victims was examined using 330 participants who read a trial summary describing a case of child sexual abuse and made decisions about the case.
Abstract: The case described a child aged 6-8 years, 9-11 years, or 12-14 years who had allegedly been sexually abused by a stranger. The only evidence was the child's uncorroborated testimony. Participants were college students. They were asked to rate the believability and importance of the child's testimony. They were also asked to assign a percentage of blame to the victim and to determine a verdict in the case. Results unexpectedly revealed no main effects of the victim's age. However, as expected, significant sex differences occurred for some of the case outcome variables. Males tended to rate the child's testimony as less believable and less important than did females. In addition, males tended to assign more blame to the victim and yielded fewer guilty verdicts than did females. Results indicated no interactions between the sex of the juror and the age of the victim. Findings suggest a relationship between juror sex and perception of uncorroborated child testimony in cases of child sexual abuse. Table and 37 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Children in the courtroom; Jury decisionmaking; Juvenile victims; Witness credibility
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