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Hatbrott?: homosexuella kvinnors och mäns berättelser om utsatthet för brott
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Hate crimes? : gays and lesbians narratives on victimization (English)
Abstract [en]

During the nineties, the hate crimes concept has been used to describe victimization on the basis of group characteristics. The Swedish penal Code 29:2:7 states that crimes committed against a person due to that person's race, color, nationality, ethnicity, religious beliefs or other similar circumstances, such as a person's sexual orientation, can elicit a more severe punishment than crimes without such motives.

The purpose of this thesis is to show if, where, by whom and why lesbians and gay men are victimized on the basis of their sexual orientation. Through a triangulation of methods, the results to be presented were produced in three studies covering 3 000 individuals and 50 organisations. The material, which includes 850 victimization narratives, tells us that 25 per cent had experienced what they interpreted as hate crime victimization. Between 15 and 24 per cent of females and between 28 and 36 per cent of males had been victimized, the majority during the last twelve months. Almost 50 per cent of these individuals had been victimized repeatedly. According to the narratives, the places where such crimes take place are, in order of frequency, in the street and other public places, in the victim's home, outside gay venues, at school/the work place, in a park, at a restaurant, abroad, close to home and on some means of transport. The level of fear of crime was high. Compared to traditional surveys of the fear of crime, this study found the relationships between age and fear and between gender and fear to be inverted, i.e. the youngest were most afraid, levels of fear diminished with age, and more men than women expressed higher levels of fear of being victimized as a result of their sexual orientation. The levels of fear of crime and repeated victimization were revealed in in-depth interviews with 50 individuals. Almost two thirds of the victimized respondents were injured as a result of the crime, a majority of these injuries being of a psychological nature.

Comparisons with foreign studies indicate a similar level of victimization. Comparisons with a Swedish study from 1981 reveal the current level of hate crime victimization to be higher. A comparison with the national victim surveys produced by Statistics Sweden indicates that lesbian and gay populations tend to be victimized to a higher degree than heterosexuals, in particular with regard to victimization on the basis of sexual orientation. Such victimization seems to be explained by a collision between (perceived) homophobia/heterosexism on the part of the perpetrator and a lifestyle where the homosexuality of the victimized female or male is exposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University , 1999. , 283 p.
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 1
Keyword [en]
Bias crime, fear of crime, gay, gender, hate crime, heterosexism, homophobia, homosexuality, lesbian, lifestyle, victimology, victim studies
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64233ISBN: 91-89404-00-9OAI: diva2:456349
Public defence
1999-09-17, 13:00
Available from: 2011-11-14 Created: 2011-11-14 Last updated: 2011-11-14Bibliographically approved

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