PhD grants : Effect of mock juror gender, victim age and type of criminal offence on the judgment of sexual violence against minors. (H&L)

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    University of Tours
    Mobility Incoming
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)


  • Keywords


Judgement, sexual offences


  • Profile and skills required

M2 in Psychology


  • Project description

In France, 40% of sexual violence cases involve sexual assaults on children or adolescents (InfoStat Justice, March 2018). According to Bouhet et al (2007), incest accounts for 17% of cases of sexual assault on minors. Numerous studies have highlighted the significant repercussions on the child's development, in the cognitive, emotional or somatic fields (Bessoles, 2005; Haesevoets, 2015; Vila, 2007). In 50% of cases, victims are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Wolfe, 2007).

There are relatively few studies on the judgment of sexual violence suffered by minors. Some have shown that judgement can vary according to the gender of the juror (Pettalia et al., 2017) or the type of abuse suffered by the victim (sexual touching versus rape) (Graham et al., 2007). These studies have most often been conducted with adults. From a lifetime perspective (children/adolescents, adults, older people), do judgements about perpetrators and victims of child sexual abuse change with age?

Furthermore, depending on the age of the participants in the study, which non-judicial factors have an effect on the judgement made about sexual violence against minors (Age of the perpetrator or victim? Gender of the perpetrator or victim? Victimological relationship between perpetrator and victim? Sexual orientation of the perpetrator? etc.). The belief and value systems of those who judge will also be taken into account. In particular, we will be interested in the effect of the belief in a just world (Lerner, 1980), as an ideology of system justification. Several studies have found a link between adherence to this belief and blaming victims of aggression (Bègue, 2016; Cyr & Wemmers, 2011; Jorge, 2006).

We hypothesise in general that the type and effect of extrajudicial factors considered in the judgment of sexual abuse of minors evolves with life stages.


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