Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

Jennifer Ma


The purpose of this study is to investigate what crimes are considered stereotypical for intersectional defendants in terms of race (Black, White) and gender (female, male), as well as how the crime-stereotypicality of intersectional defendants affects jurors' perceptions of defendant guilt and characteristics. This exploratory pilot study will assess what crimes participants consider to be stereotypical of these intersectional groups. In the main study, participants will read mock trial case materials, give a verdict, and assess their verdict confidence and defendant attributions. Participants' levels of benevolent and hostile sexism, and pro- and anti-Black attitudes will also be controlled for in the analyses. It is predicted that there will be a significant defendant gender and crime-stereotypicality interaction where female defendants will be evaluated against gender stereotypes and thus judged more harshly compared to males. It is also predicted that defendants matching the race of the crime-stereotypes will be evaluated more harshly than no-stereotypical defendants. Finally, it is predicted that there will be significant interactions between defendant race, gender, and crime-stereotypicality that will create unique patterns for each intersectional group. No studies have yet examined crime-stereotypes using an intersectional approach, which aims to understand how several aspects of one’s identity can combine to create unique experiences, privileges, and discriminations. By examining intersectional identities, this study may contribute to a greater understanding of the effects of race and gender crime-stereotypes in the legal system.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.