More specifically, the researchers found that male jurors—but not female jurors—are more likely to hand a guilty verdict to obese women than to slender women. The study’s 471 participants were presented with one of four images of check fraud defendants — fat guy, thin guy, fat woman, or thin woman — and then asked to rate the pretend-defendant’s guilt on a five-point scale. Researchers found that male jurors in the study were “significantly more likely” to lock up obese women than slender ones.
But…maybe this is really just a bias against poor people? Maybe the men just thought that overweight people are more likely to be poor, and poor people are more likely to commit check fraud? (For some reason, class bias makes us significantly less uncomfortable than BMI bias. This might be an indication of our own horribleness.)
Alas, no. The men judged the male defendants equally regardless of weight. And, the women judged all defendants equally regardless of weight. Curiously, it was only when males were judging females that objectivity went out the window. (In related news, the same researchers also found oxygen to be beneficial to breathing and water to be correlated to wetness.)