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The role of masculinity in perceptions of guilt

By Charlotte Ward


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.This study examined the influence of masculine physical appearance on perceptions of guilt and interactions between masculine physical appearance, participant gender, suspect gender and the nature of the crime. The study hypothesised that individuals with a higher level of masculine physical appearance would receive higher guilt ratings, with a larger effect when the suspect was female and the participant was male. Furthermore, masculine crimes would receive higher guilt ratings. The study employed a 3x2x3 mixed design, in which 111 participants were randomly assigned to view either male or female suspects for one of three crime conditions. Participants were asked to read the crime scenario presented and then evaluate the guilt of each suspect. A significant effect of masculine appearance on guilt ratings was found, which was consistent across all variables. An interaction effect between masculine appearance, suspect gender and participant gender was also found. Overall findings indicate that individuals with a higher masculine appearance received higher guilt ratings. The results also highlight the presence of an own gender bias. Implications within the criminal justice system are discussed.University of Leiceste

Year: 2010
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