Hate Crimes Hate Crimes

Confronting Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men

Edited by
Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. &
Kevin T. Berrill

ISBN 0-8039-4542-6 (paper)

(Sage Publications, 1992).

Named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1992 by Choice Magazine, American Library Association.

Recipient of a 1993 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in the United States.


Thousands of antigay crimes have been reported. Many thousands more go unacknowledged every year, the survivors fearing further victimization from a hostile society. A balance of science and advocacy, Hate Crimes seeks to understand this frightening phenomenon. This unique anthology will be indispensable to scientists, practitioners, and policy makers concerned about antigay violence as well as the broader issue of hate crimes against minority groups. Lay readers will find it disturbing and, at times, shocking.

Beginning with an overview of antigay violence and victimization, the contributors consider such issues as: the social context of hate crimes; documenting victimization; the social psychology of bigotry and bashing; treatment and service interventions; violence against lesbian and gay male youths; conceptualizing antigay violence; and mental health consequences of antigay violence. Findings from empirical research and professional practice are juxtaposed with devastating first-person accounts by survivors of hate crimes. The editors conclude with implications for public policy.

Ending hate crimes is everyone's responsibility. Readable and compelling, Hate Crimes portrays the trauma, viciousness, and horror of antigay violence. A must-read.

Table of Contents Foreword
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.


Survivor's Story #1: Eight Bullets
Claudia Brenner


1. Antigay Violence and Victimization in the United States: An Overview
Kevin T. Berrill

2. Trends in Violence and Discrimination Against Gay Men in New York City: 1984 to 1990
Laura Dean, Shanyu Wu & John L. Martin

3. Violence in the Streets: Anti-Lesbian Assault and Harassment in San Francisco
Beatrice von Schulthess

4. Violence Against Lesbian and Gay Male Youths
Joyce Hunter

Survivor's Story #2.
Bob Gravel


5. The Social Context of Hate Crimes: Notes on Cultural Heterosexism
Gregory M. Herek

6. The Ecology of Antigay Violence
Howard J. Ehrlich

7. Conceptualizing Antigay Violence
Joseph Harry

8. Thinking More Clearly About Hate-Motivated Crimes
Richard A. Berk, Elizabeth A. Boyd & Karl M. Hamner

Survivor's Story #3
William Edward Hassell


9. Psychological Heterosexism and Antigay Violence: The Social Psychology of Bigotry and Bashing
Gregory M. Herek

10. Kids Who Attack Gays
Eric Weissman

11. Gay-Bashing: A Social Identity Analysis of Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men
Karl M. Hamner

12. The Gay Bashers
Michael Collins

Survivor's Story #4
Kathleen Sarris


13. Violence and Victimization of Lesbians and Gay Men: Mental Health Consequences
Linda Garnets, Gregory M. Herek & Barrie Levy

14. Treatment and Service Interventions for Lesbian and Gay Male Crime Victims
David M. Wertheimer

15. The Community Response to Violence in San Francisco
Gregory M. Herek

16. Organizing Against Hate on Campus: Strategies for Activists
Kevin T. Berrill

17. Documenting the Victimization of Lesbians and Gay Men: Methodological Issues
Gregory M. Herek & Kevin T. Berrill


18. Primary and Secondary Victimization in Antigay Hate Crimes: Official Response and Public Policy
Kevin T. Berrill & Gregory M. Herek

Critical Praise for Hate Crimes

"The book is an eminently useful collection of social-scientific articles, journalistic essays and interviews, and first-person stories of violence. It makes a start at documenting the endemic hate and violence against gay men and lesbians in the United States and the need to do something about it. Beyond documenting the extent of the assaults, Hate Crimes explores their social context, the various motivations of the perpetrators and the organizations formed to support victims and help stop the violence." (The Women's Review of Books)

"A first-rate interdisciplinary collection: beautifully organized, highly readable, informative, multicultural, and attentive to feminist concerns. A major source on recent U.S. developments. . . . This volume is a 'must read' for anyone in law enforcement, health care, or social services, as well as for educators, social scientists, and lesbians and gay men everywhere. All levels." (Choice)

"Violence against lesbians and gay men is shamefully pervasive and in dire need of remedy. This pioneering book takes a broad and deep look at this much overlooked problem and points the way for future study and action. I recommend Hate Crimes to anyone who cares about this alarming injustice." (Urvashi Vaid, Former Executive Director, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force)

"This book lays an incontrovertible foundation for the reality, seriousness and adverse effects of anti-lesbian and gay violence and does so within a rich context of social-psychological understandings. . . . Empirical research, theoretical discussions, clinical material, personal accounts and public policy implications are all focused, deftly handled and managed into a coherent whole. . . . Whether one is specifically interested in the topic, or simply interested in seeing the level of sophistication and integration gay and lesbian perspectives are capable of, this volume is highly recommended." (John C. Gonsiorek, APA Division 44 Newsletter)

"A very up-to-the-minute account. . . . Herek and Berrill have compiled a series of essays by women and men who are literally creating a new philosophy of the etymology of anti-lesbian/anti-gay crime. There is provocative new material on the psychological effects of continued harassment and how the fear of violence can lead to violence itself." (Lambda Book Report)

"Anti-gay and -lesbian violence is increasingly coming to the attention of police in cities across the nation. We have a responsibility to the gay citizens in our communities to understand the nature of these insidious crimes and use this understanding to develop model responses to the problem. I recommend this book to all in the police community who are interested in learning more about the problem of antigay and lesbian violence." (Darrel W. Stephens, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum)

"The papers collected here represent an important milestone, the first anthology devoted exclusively to serious discussion of what is known about antigay prejudice and violence. It is a most thorough and thoughtful book, one that should be read by all Americans who wish to understand the specific dimensions of antigay violence and the general problem of hate crimes in our society. It will be especially useful to law enforcement personnel, legislators, and policymakers. . . . Whether based on sexual orientation, race, religion, or ethnicity, bigotry and the violence it inspires pose a grave threat to the peace and harmony of our communities. The need to alert Americans to this threat is great. We need especially to educate our youth about tolerance and about appreciating the benefits that we enjoy as a result of our culture's rich diversity of peoples, beliefs, and ways of living. This ground-breaking book sounds an alarm and provides tools for understanding the dimensions of hate violence. It deserves your careful study." (from the Foreword by The Honorable John Conyers Jr. U.S. House of Representatives)

"This collection clearly describes the process and aftermath of victimization in crimes where the victim has been targeted because of her or his sexual orientation. This book is particularly important in the aftermath of the antigay sentiment expressed during the recent 1992 Republican National Convention and in the national campaign. . . . These papers clearly and compellingly describe the victims' fears of antigay violence. The final papers contain an important discussion of strategies that communities and public officials should take to support victims of antigay violence and to deter future antigay hate crimes. . . . It should be read by all those who want to understand the fear of violence that is the constant companion of many gay men and lesbians in our society." (Contemporary Sociology)

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