Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Are homosexuals attacked more than straights? Stories like that of Matthew Shepard are used to teach Americans that homophobia is rampant, and that it is often manifested in hate crimes. Homosexuals are attacked, we are told, because they are hated. If this is true, gay men and lesbians should have higher rates of being attacked than straights, since they face more than the usual number of reasons for being victims of violence. So what does the General Social Survey say?


Percent ever punched or beaten up

Straight men 56.0
Gay men 47.1
Staight women 27.4
Gay women 57.9

Now, you might look at the numbers for lesbians and conclude that homophobia is rampant since their rates of violent victimization are more than double that of straight women. But such an interpretation doesn't hold up, because if it were true, gay men would be assaulted more than straight guys.

This pattern of numbers is consistent with the fact that most violence is mutual combat that starts with verbal aggression and escalates. Victims often provoke violence, and straight women and gay men are less aggressive than their counterparts. If homosexuals are attacked, chances are it is motivated by the same kinds of things that cause attacks against heterosexuals: you tell some guy that his girlfriend is an ugly slut, and you get punched in the face.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Straight men tend to be more macho and less willing to back down from a fight.

Gay men are generally pansies.

Anonymous said...

Wow, nearly 60% of men have been punched or beaten up. That's pretty sad.

I got randomly sucker punched in the back of the head by a black stranger once. I remember his friends criticizing him for it as they continued walking in their direction and I walked in mine. None of use stopped or even slowed down.

Had it been a black guy that got punched by me, a real fight would have been initiated and I probably would have been charged with a hate crime in the aftermath - especially if I won, and he got injured. (I wasn't smaller than the guy who attacked me, and I took martial arts classes through highschool)

In that way the "hate crime" dice may actually be loaded against less agressive groups. More aggressive groups will be more likely to help push low intensity conflict/abuse into high intensity conflict.

This also shows that low intensity victimization of homosexuals may actually be underreported.

Rain And

Anonymous said...

Gay men at least. Apparently not lesbians!

Anonymous said...

This is vaguely interesting, but I really think we should get back to race. Negroids in particular.

Anonymous said...

Crimes such as the Matthew Shepard case are publicized my the MSM only when they fit preconceived notions of race, class, gender or sexual-orientation bias. This is done to support a political agenda, in this case, the inclusion of sexual orientation in hate crime legislation. At about the same time as the murder of Shepard (who was a gay man who went cruising for rough sex in Jackson, Wyoming and was killed by two heterosexuals), a 13 year old boy, Jesse Dirkhising, was kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered by some homosexuals in Rogers, Arkansas. This horrible crime received ZERO MSM coverage because it did not fit the hate crime agenda. Sort of like the Duke lacrosse case - the NY Times and other MSM shills thumped the tub to lynch the "perpetrators," but, when the truth came out, the only crimes had been committed by the corrupt district attorney and the lying complainant. All of this is nothing but agitprop.

Random Guy said...

Another fascinating post!

Anonymous said...

The relevant question is how often people are subject to unprovoked attacks, and that's not something the data addresses (OK, address if you insist).

intellectual pariah

Ron Guhname said...

"Shepard (who was a gay man who went cruising for rough sex in Jackson, Wyoming and was killed by two heterosexuals)..."

I'm sure some homosexuals are attacked because they hit on the wrong guy. Making a pass implies the object of attention is gay, and nothing starts a fight quicker than to call a straight guy queer.

Steve Sailer said...

How "slapped" instead of "punched"?

MarcZ said...

Wow. More lesbians have been punched or beaten up than straight men. That, I did not expect. Any info on domestic violence rates among gay and lesbian couples, particularly relative to straight couples? The lesbians I know tell me that domestic violence is endemic among gay women.

Anecdotally, I had straight friends who would come with me to gay bars every now and again in college because "it was a relief to go to a bar where you didn't get into a fistfight every time you accidentally spilled your drink on another guy." I'm sure they exaggerated somewhat, but I can see their point. Not that having their pick of the straight girls who were there with their gay male friends wasn't a draw as well.

Still, my impression has always been that with groups of straight guys, there is always the risk of all that testosterone spilling over into a massive brawl. I can't ever see a group of gay men brawling--no way, no how. With gays, the tetosterone spills over into a culture of unfettered sexuality.

Anonymous said...

"If this is true, gay men and lesbians should have higher rates of being attacked than straights, since they face more than the usual number of reasons for being victims of violence."

The question is not which is the proportion of straight vs. gay men and women who were ever beaten up or engaged in a fight; the question is, how many of them were aggressed because of prejudice from their victimizers.

Your conclusion that homophobia is not prevalent because gays were not necessarily more often victimized than straight men would only make sense if both were victimized because of the same reasons.

Suppose all 47% of the gay men ever beaten up were targeted because of their sexual orientation, that would mean there's widespread hostility against them, even though more straight men were aggressed, since most straight men would likely be victimized by reasons other than prejudice.

And, even though gay men and lesbians supposedly make up only 2-5% of the adult population, they make up 15% of all victims of hate crimes (only 2% of all hate crimes based on sexual orientation were perpetrated against heterosexuals), which suggests they endure more serious prejudice than most other demographic groups, minority or not.

See:

- http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,001.htm
- http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/12/12/1151

One evicende that the data you published don't necessarily reflect the reality of bias crimes is that the GSS sample of lesbians were more likely than the sample of gay men to report ever being in a physical altercation -- but, according to FBI data, instances of bias crimes against gay men outnumber that of lesbians in a ratio of 4.6:1.

"Making a pass implies the object of attention is gay, and nothing starts a fight quicker than to call a straight guy queer."

That's to put it very mildly. I'm sure the perceived pass would anger the straight neanderthal more than the mere assumption that he might be gay (if all straight men would lose their control and physically attack every other men who provoke them with gay nicknames or jokes, few man outside jail would be straight).