Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Alison Kelly


Individuals who identify as transgender are overrepresented in the criminal justice system due to their increased risk of victimization and contact with law enforcement. Ringger (2018) and Ringger (2020) are two of the few studies that have examined juror perceptions and decisions related to transgender defendants specifically as compared to cisgender defendants. The current study sought to fill this gap by further exploring juror decisions in cases involving transgender defendants. Additionally, the proposed study sought to identify potential attitudinal predictors of guilt and blame for transgender defendants. In this study, participants read crime vignettes featuring transgender and cisgender male and female defendants accused of either prostitution or drug possession. Following the vignettes, participants made judgments of guilt and completed measures related to perpetrator blame, sexism, and attitudes toward transgender individuals. Guilt decisions and blame perceptions were harsher for prostitution compared to drug possession, regardless of defendant sex and gender identity. Transphobia and sexism emerged as the strongest predictors of guilt judgments and blame perceptions for female defendants and transgender defendants. These findings could aid in jury selection in cases involving transgender defendants.