Comparison of Hate Crime Rates Across Protected and Unprotected Groups – An Update

By Rebecca L. Stotzer
May 2012

New research based on FBI data show that gay men face higher rates of hate-motivated physical violence than lesbians, bisexuals or other federally protected groups with high rates of hate crimes.

This revelation is especially troubling given prior research has shown that sexual orientation-motivated hate crimes tend to be more violent. 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 Blacks experience similar levels of overall victimization, this study is the first to demonstrate that these groups do not experience the same types of hate crimes and that when lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are considered separately, gay men experience more hate crimes.

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