Justice Isn’t Blind: It Makes Note of Unattractive Defendants

A study conducted by researchers at Eastern Kentucky University and recently published in the journal Gender Issues, finds that women jurors are likely to be harsher on men that they find unattractive.

Researchers Dr. Jonathan Gore and Jeremy Gibson tested if and how levels of attractiveness and conforming to social norms combined to influence 170 college women’s perceptions of men. Based on their findings, the man in the above photo at left is likely to receive a harsher sentence than the man at right, even if they’re convicted of the exact same crime.

“A man who stands trial has already shown himself to have violated social norms in one way or another,” Dr. Gore is quoted in an article about the study appearing on PsychCentral.com. “If he is also unattractive, [it] may result in a larger fine or sentence, as it could influence how negatively [women] jurors view him and, as a result, the degree to which they believe him guilty of the crime.”

Gibson adds, “The unattractive male is tolerated up to a point; his unattractiveness is OK until he misbehaves.”

The PsychCentral.com article, by Traci Pedersen, specifically states that unattractive defendants are known to receive harsher sentences than good-looking perpetrators, even if two committed the same crime.