Sentencing in Indecent Assault Cases: The Impact of Age and Race across Victim, Defendant and Juror

Mellon, Kathryn (2014). Sentencing in Indecent Assault Cases: The Impact of Age and Race across Victim, Defendant and Juror Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Mellon, Kathryn
Thesis Title Sentencing in Indecent Assault Cases: The Impact of Age and Race across Victim, Defendant and Juror
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Peter Newcombe
Total pages 104
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Sentencing in Indecent Assault cases: The Impact of Age and Race across Victim, Defendant and Juror The subjective nature of sexual assault means people have strong views on what constitutes this assault with research showing that the use of extra-legal variables such as age or race can impact significantly on sentencing. In the present study 219 participants aged 17-68 (M = 24.13, SD = 11.46) collected through two sources (subject pool, social media), read one of six vignettes depicting a sexual assault in which the race of the male defendant (White Caucasian, Indigenous, Asian) and age of the female victim (30years, 70years) were varied. Participants responded to a series of questions related to sentencing and their beliefs in rape myths, racism and attitudes towards women. A 3 (Defendant Race) x 2 (Victim Age) x 2 (Data Group) between-subjects design found that participants in the older, social media group were more likely to give a lenient sentence overall than were the younger 1st year students; F(1,205) = 8.36, p = .004. There was a significant three way interaction, F(2,205) = 3.63, p = .03, that found Indigenous defendant being sentenced more leniently than either Caucasian or Asian by the social media group when the victim was 70 years. However, when the victim was 30 years, the social media group suggested significantly more lenient sentences for the Asian defendant than either the Caucasian or Indigenous defendants. These differences were not found with the 1st year students. The effects of racism, rape myths and attitudes towards women are also considered.
Keyword Sexual assault
Sentencing
Age
Race

 
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Created: Thu, 30 Apr 2015, 12:50:17 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology