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Myths about Myths? A Commentary on Thomas (2020) and the Question of Jury Rape Myth Acceptance

Daly, Ellen, Smith, Olivia, Bows, Hannah, Brown, Jennifer, Chalmers, James, Cowan, Sharon, Horvath, Miranda, Leverick, Fiona, Lovett, Jo, Munro, Vanessa and Willmott, Dominic ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7449-6462 (2022) Myths about Myths? A Commentary on Thomas (2020) and the Question of Jury Rape Myth Acceptance. Journal of Gender-Based Violence. ISSN 2398-6808

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Abstract

This commentary responds to claims that research by Cheryl Thomas ‘shows’ no problem with rape myths in English and Welsh juries. We critique the claim on the basis of ambiguous survey design, a false distinction between ‘real’ jurors and other research participants, the conflation of attitudes in relation to abstract versus applied rape myths, and misleading interpretation of the data. Ultimately, we call for a balanced appraisal of individual studies by contextualising them against the wider literature.

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