Myths about myths? A commentary on Thomas (2020) and the question of jury rape myth acceptance

Daly, Ellen, Smith, Olivia, Bows, Hannah, Brown, Jennifer, Chalmers, James, Cowan, Sharon, Horvath, Miranda A. H., Leverick, Fiona, Lovett, Jo, Munro, Vanessa and Willmott, Dominic (2023) Myths about myths? A commentary on Thomas (2020) and the question of jury rape myth acceptance. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 7 (1). pp. 189-200. ISSN 2398-6808

JGBV-D-21-00023_R1.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract / Description

This commentary responds to claims that research by Cheryl Thomas ‘shows’ no problem with rape myths in English and Welsh juries. We critique the claim on the basis of ambiguous survey design, a false distinction between ‘real’ jurors and other research participants, the conflation of attitudes in relation to abstract versus applied rape myths, and misleading interpretation of the data. Ultimately, we call for a balanced appraisal of individual studies by contextualising them against the wider literature.

Key messages:
Thomas (2020) argued that her research showed rape myths do not influence juries.

We critique Thomas’ claim because the research was not designed to ask about influence on juries, there are several methodological limitations, and the data actually reveal ambivalence about rape myths on the part of many jurors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited Version of Record of this article is published in the Journal of Gender-Based Violence (2023), volume 7, issue 1, pages 189-200 - © Bristol University Press, 2023.
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical commentary; jury research; rape myths; research triangulation
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2022 12:24
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2023 12:15


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