Велкова Кристина Велкова
Predictors of Delinquent Behavior Justification: Physical Attractiveness vs Gender Role Compliance
Прикладная социальная психология
As various factors influence decisions on criminal justification, the current research aimed to investigate whether violations of gender norms by offenders biased judge’s sentence decisions and to explore the interaction between physical attractiveness and gender role compliance in crime justification. It has been proposed that attractive defendants received milder punishments than unattractive ones and so did females compared to males. Similarly, we put forward that adhering to stereotypical gender roles, violators were also expected to receive preferential treatment, as violating informal norms proposed the probability of violating legal norms as well. Thus, 154 Bulgarians were randomly provided with criminal cases including defendants’ descriptions differing on offenders’ gender, attractiveness and gender role compliance. Accordingly, the predictors were varied in a factorial design, crime justification was assessed through sentence fairness judgments and its variance was analyzed through Hierarchical linear modelling. Our results suggested that the relationship between fairness decisions and offender’s gender and physical attractiveness was significant and severe punishments were considered to be unfair when received by females and attractive transgressors. Consequently, defendant’s sex and appearance appeared to have an impact on sentence judgments. Transgressor’s gender role compliance did not produce biases in participants’ judgments on sentence fairness as a single predictor and did not interact significantly with the attractiveness level of the male and female defendants but influenced the relationship between attractiveness and sentence fairness.