The effects of masculinity and suspect gender on perceptions of guilt

C Ward, H Flowe, Joyce Humphries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated whether perceptions of guilt for both male and female suspects co-varied with masculine physical appearance. In addition, the study tested whether the relationship between masculine physical appearance and perceptions of guilt was dependent upon whether the crime is stereotypically male perpetrated. Participants read one of three crime scenarios (burglary, child abuse and neglect, fraud and forgery) and evaluated the likelihood that suspects of varying masculine appearance committed the crime in question. Masculine physical appearance significantly affected guilt ratings across all crime types for both male and female suspects. Additionally, guilt ratings for male compared with female suspects were higher for burglary, a crime that was viewed as stereotypically male perpetrated by research participants. The results are discussed in relation to applied implications and future research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-488
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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