Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


The purpose of this study was to identify personal variables that tend to predict biases toward judgment of innocence or guilt in high profile, ambiguous cases of alleged sexual harassment. The following variables were found to be significantly correlated with biases toward judgments of innocence: a belief that "there is too much emphasis on victimization these days"; and, being of the male sex. Variables that were correlated with biases toward judgements of guilt included: being of the female sex; a belief that "political correctness" is a good social trend; a belief that men should act "protectively" or "chivalrously" toward women; having been upset in the past because a relative or close friend had been a victim of physical sexual assault or harassment; and the identification of one's self as a feminist. The findings suggest that errors of judgment often reflect stereotypes, on the part of the judges. alleged sexual assault or harassment, personal biases, or In ambiguous cases of such biases may have important consequences and should be assessed as part of the voir dire process.