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Avoiding Adversariness? The Effects of Gender on Litigant Decision-Making

  • Claire B. Wofford (a1)
Abstract

How does gender influence the American judicial system? Scholars interested in this question have focused on several areas, including the substance of the law (Bender 1993; Olsen 1995; Rifkin 1981), the presence of women on a jury (Fowler 2005; Marder 1987; Taylor-Thompson 2000), and the sex of criminal defendants (Sarnikar, Sorenson, and Oaxaca 2007; Starr 2012). Among political scientists in particular, most work has examined judicial decision-making and whether the rulings of female judges differ from those of their male counterparts. Results of these studies have been mixed: some indicate that female judges vote differently, at least in certain types of cases (Boyd, Epstein, and Martin 2010; Peresie 2005; Songer and Crews-Meyer 2000), but others have found no, or only a minimal, gender effect (Segal 2002; Songer, Davis, and Haire 1994; Walker and Barrow 1985).

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