Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The current study investigated the impact of gender, jury instructions, victim intoxication status, and perpetrator intoxication status on perceptions of sexual harassment of participants role-playing individual jurors and juries. Gender, victim intoxication status, and perpetrator intoxication status affected the sexual harassment perceptions. The well established gender effect was replicated as the current study found female jurors were more likely to perceive sexual harassment than were male jurors. Individuals were less likely to find sexual harassment when they were told the victim was intoxicated than when no information was presented. When the perpetrator was intoxicated, sexual harassment was less likely to be found. Giving instructions to ignore irrelevant intoxication information had no impact on individual jurors but did impact juries. Juries were also biased by the perpetrator's intoxication status. The significant interaction between jury instructions and victim intoxication and jury instructions and perpetrator intoxication indicated giving juries instructions reduced the bias of victim intoxication status but not perpetrator intoxication status. Initial findings of the majority of individuals lead to the jury's decision 73% of the time, indicating a majority effect. Likewise, a leniency bias and an asymmetry effect were also observed among initial findings and jury decisions. Furthermore, once juries deliberate, individuals are likely to stick to their jury's decision.


Gender and Sexuality | Psychology