A new study released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, the primary resource for independent research and scholarship on sexual orientation and gender identity issues in the United States, analyzed FBI hate crimes data and found that gay men report higher rates of hate-motivated physical violence than other at-risk minority groups. The study is the first to consider lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals separately.
These results come on the heels of previous research by the Southern Poverty Law Center showing that LGBT people are far more likely to be victims of hate crimes than any other minority group in the United States; the Williams Center’s news release also notes that crimes motivated by the victim’s real or perceived sexual orientation tend to be more violent. It also calls the study’s findings “troubling” and calls for further research into the reasons “why gay men are more likely to experience and/or report physical victimization and crimes against their property.”
From the release:
Among the research findings, 26 in 100,000 gay men reported being victims of hate-motivated crimes against persons, compared to 10 in 100,000 lesbians, 5 in 100,000 African Americans, and 5 in 100,000 Jewish Americans. Gay men also face the second highest risk of being victims of hate-motivated property crime (9 in 100,000 gay men). Further, reporting of such hate crimes is likely under represented since data reflect only those who report such crimes to local law enforcement, who then choose whether to report the data to the FBI.
Although prior research has suggested that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, Jews, and African Americans experience similar levels of overall victimization, this study is the first to demonstrate that when lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are considered separately, gay men experience more hate crimes.