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This book is set against the background of the so-called 'justice gap' in sexual assault cases. It represents an interdisciplinary attempt to examine the attitudinal problems which bedevil this area of law and possible strategies for addressing them. Written by a professor of law and a professor of psychology, it reviews evidence from both socio-legal and social cognition research examining the impact of rape-related attitudes on judgements about sexual offences.
It presents new qualitative data from interviews with judges and barristers. and includes new experimental studies that illustrate how stereotypic beliefs about rape affect perceptions of victim blame and perpetrator culpability. The final part of the book discusses strategies to suppress the impact of rape stereotypes and promote the data-driven appraisal of sexual assault complaints.