School of Human Sciences
Face and Voice Recognition Lab
Institute of Lifecourse Development
University of Greenwich
Some students attached to Professor Josh P Davis’ lab conduct research on forensic topics, and this is one carried out by Shona Mcintosh. This research paper has recently been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Details of the research are below.
Mcintosh, S., & Davis, J. P. (2020). The ‘casting couch’ scenario: Impact of perceived employment benefit, reporting delay, complainant gender, and participant gender on juror decision-making in rape cases. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, DOI: 10.1177/0886260520966679
Recent legal and media reports of contemporary and historical rape and sexual assault cases have focused on the entertainment industry, particularly around the notion of the “casting couch.” The “casting couch” scenario refers to a powerful figure obtaining sometimes non-consensual sexual acts from subordinate actors in exchange for employment.
A mock-juror decision-making experiment was carried out (n = 907). Participants viewed video and written testimony of a complainant, which accused a male producer of rape. The gender of the complainant (male / female), the delay before reporting the incident to the police (immediately, 6 months later, 10 years later), and the complainant casting in the production (acting role secured, acting role not secured) were all randomly varied.
Results suggest that females (79.7%) were significantly more likely than males (62.7%) to deliver a guilty verdict, and also to recommend longer prison sentences. Defendant guilt attributions to the male and female complainant were also differently influenced by rape myth belief levels and homophobic attitudes, but not beliefs in a just world.
These findings indicate that there are different effects of gender in juries on casting verdicts and sentences in the casting couch scenario. However, these results have important implications for any occupational setting in which men in positions of power may sexually exploit junior staff.
Please see here for another forensic research project carried out by one of Professor Josh P Davis’ students, Kirsty Osborn, which was also published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence:
There is a pre-print of Kirsty Osborn's paper also available here.