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Beyond Prejudice: A Masculinity Problem or How We Can Prevent Anti-LGBT Violence

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Written by Dominic Parrott

In the United States, public support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has increased in recent years. These changes are associated with increased visibility of openly gay characters on television, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, violence against sexual minorities remains a major public health problem in the U.S. and internationally. A recent study concluded that approximately 50 percent of LGBT adults experience bias-motivated aggression at some point. For every highly publicized act of violence toward sexual minorities, such as the recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, there are many more physical and verbal assaults, attempted assaults, acts of property damage or intimidations which are never reported to authorities, let alone publicized by the media. What spurs on these acts of violence? Can we do anything to prevent them? Fortunately, an extensive body of social science research exists that identifies perpetrators’ motivations and suggests ways we can reduce the likelihood of these acts of aggression toward sexual minorities. READ MORE

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