First Advisor

Melissa Thompson

Date of Publication

Spring 7-10-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Jury selection, Lawyers -- Decision making, Jurors, Sex discrimination



Physical Description

1 online resource (lvi pages)


The jury selection process (also known as voir dire) has been examined previously in many ways, including racial impacts. Previous research suggests the need for more examination of how and if gender impacts the voir dire process. The lack of knowledge about how gender impacts voir dire might also have implications for public respect and trust in the court system. For example, theories of procedural justice suggest that individual experiences with the legal system affect whether they view the entire legal system as being legitimate. This is important because this perception then impacts how the public interact with the system. This research examines one main research question, how is gender salient in the voir dire process? To understand how gender impacts voir dire, including how attorneys and potential jurors communicate with each other, courtroom observations of the voir dire process were conducted. During these observations coding sheets were used focusing on types of questions asked by attorneys and reactions of the potential jurors and how gender affected this process. Over 150 interactions with potential jurors were examined. The results of these interactions focus on the use and misuse of gendered titles, gendered expectations, and repetition. It was found that gender is salient throughout the process and may impact how attorneys present the questions they ask and the information they give. The results of this research are applicable to jury selection/voir dire research and are important to better understanding how gender is seen and acted out in the courtroom.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Criminology Commons