More “good” news from the land of statistics, science and other research as to apparent psychology with the revelation that appearances count. Well, to a certain extent: male jurors aren’t fond of obese female defendants. 

An article in this mornings SMH online reports that a study has revealed that men were more harshly disposed to obese women than they were to obese men and are more likely to convict a female defendant if they are overweight:

“Researchers at the Yale Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity asked 471 people to participate in a mock trial.

Each participant was given an image of either an obese male, a lean male, an obese female or a lean female and asked to rate the guilt of that defendant.

Male participants judged the obese female significantly more guilty than the lean one, but female participants judged them equally.

There was no difference in either gender’s assessment of the men’s guilt, regardless of bodyweight.

”The results … indicate that bodyweight and sex of a defendant have an interactive effect on juror perceptions of guilt and responsibility,” the authors wrote of their findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity.

”Male respondents endorsed greater anti-fat bias than female respondents. In addition, female participants were more likely than male participants to attribute obesity to biological and environmental causes as opposed to personal shortcomings.”


Jane Goodman-Delahunty, who specialises in psychology and law at Charles Sturt University, said the study corroborated research that found the appearance of defendants, including whether they were baby-faced or attractive, influenced jurors’ perceptions of their guilt.”

Which all adds up to very good news for all the beautiful people guilty people.

Full story here.

Picture Credit: Australian Men’s Health Online.