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, Leverick, Fiona, Lovett, Jo, Munro, Vanessa and Willmott, Dominic (2022) Myths about Myths? A Commentary on Thomas (2020) and the Question of Jury Rape Myth Acceptance. Journal of Gender-Based Violence. ISSN 2398-6816

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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: Journal Article
Keywords: Rape myths, Jury research, Critical commentary, Research triangulation
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 10:50
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2023 02:02

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