Dateline: January, 2008, Issue 1

Do female or male prosecutors get more convictions?

Male jurors, though not female jurors, respond differently to male and female attorneys.

Pfeifer (1988) compared reactions of male and female jurors to a male and female prosecutor. The male and female prosecutor both used a "dominant" nonverbal communication style. Male jurors, though not female jurors, found defendants guilty less often when the prosecutor was female.

In sum, when both attorneys use a dominant communication style, a male prosecutor receives more guilty verdicts from male jurors than a female prosecutor. Male and female prosecutors receive the same number of guilty verdicts from female jurors.

Source Pfeifer, J. E. (1988). Courtroom prejudice: An application of symbolic sexism. Contemporary Social Psychology, 13, pp. 1-8.