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School of Human Sciences

Institute of Lifecourse Development

University of Greenwich

London SE10 9LS

Twitter: @GRecognisers


Juror-Decision Making within ‘Rough sex’ Defence cases

MPhil/PhD Student Kasandra Matthews (University of Greenwich)

Supervisor: Josh P Davis

If you choose to take part in this study, you will have the opportunity to anonymously enter a prize draw for one of 12 £10 Love-to-Shop Vouchers.


As the second study within her PhD project, Kasandra Matthews is investing juror decision making attitudes prevalent within ‘Rough Sex’ Defence cases. We caution participants who may find certain sensitive topics to be triggering, to reflect on the potential negative impacted they may experience prior to deciding to take part.


About the study:

You will be asked to act as a ‘juror’ and make a judgement following a mock trial where the rough sex defence has been called-upon. The scenario will involve a woman’s death, caused by strangulation, and her partner’s suspicion of murder. He claims that it was not deliberate and involved sexual activity to which she was accustomed. This defence is used when the prosecution claims the death is caused by murder, whereas the living partner claims that the unfortunate death was caused by sexual activities to which the victim approved of and consented to. Details of the mock case will include strangulation and information on the couple’s previous sexual history (such as details of explicit activities and requests), both together and separately.


Acting as though a juror, participants will read about an alleged crime that most victims would probably describe to police as having had a severe negative physiological, psychological, and/or physical impact. If you think you might be distressed by reading about such a criminal case, we advise you not to take part.


You can withdraw from the study at any time or ignore any questions. 

You will be asked to complete brief questionnaires before reading information about the case. At the end, we would like your opinions about the study.  


Inclusion criteria 

Over 18-years of age

Good understanding of written English 

Law enforcement and legal professionals are eligible


Your participation is voluntary, and your responses will be anonymously recorded.


Project Link Here


If you have any questions: do not hesitate to contact Kassie at:


Ethical information (PhD study)

This study received ethical approval from the University of Greenwich Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee (26 April 2022; updated 18 March 2023).


You can withdraw your data from this project by quoting your chosen Personal Identification Code via e-mailing:


Thank you,

Kasandra Matthews




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