Friday, July 30, 2010

Introduction To The Symposium Issue - Sexuality And Gender Law: The Difference A Field Makes – Nan D. Hunter – 2010

For a very long time, issues of sexuality and gender remained outside the boundaries of what was considered important legal scholarship. Indeed, the very presence in the legal academy of the concepts of sexuality and gender was viewed as barely legitimate, certainly not respectable, and, in intellectual terms, at best facetious1—or, to let Justice White rest in peace, at best frivolous.

One result of this now dying worldview was a series of categorical exclusions and erasures—exemplified by the exclusion of sexual speech from the First Amendment, the exclusion of nonreproductive kinship networks from the definition of family, the exclusion of gender performance from the category of protected expression, and the erasure of culturally legible same-sex desire through the mechanism of criminalization. Although instances of erasure and exclusion continue today, the period of a hegemonic paradigm of occlusion has ended.

Today, few voices would contest that sexuality and gender law is intellectually both mature and sophisticated. Moreover, the themes and tensions that have emerged about and within the field increasingly dominate broad swaths of public law.

The authors represented in this issue were brought together to assess the current state and future prospects of the field of sexuality and gender law, in a symposium cosponsored by the UCLA Law Review and the Williams Institute. The resulting articles present a vivid snapshot taken at the beginning of the twenty-first century of a field that did not exist until a few decades earlier. They also provocatively sketch complexities that lie ahead. Read complete addressNan D. Hunter

UCLA Law Review

hunter of justice

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Psychological Perspectives On Hate Crime Laws - Megan Sullaway 2004 - American Psychological Association

Megan Sullaway
Pacific Psychological Associates
University of California at Los Angeles

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
2004, Vol. 10, No. 3, 250–292

Hate crimes are those in which the victim is selected because of his or her actual or perceived race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. Hate crime laws have frequently been met with objections. Whereas some objections are based in constitutional law, other objections invoke a variety of psychological constructs, including attitude, motivation, behavior, emotion, and intergroup relations. These objections can be illuminated by relevant psychological theory and research. Topics addressed include the measurement of motivation and intent, and distinctions among attitudes, emotions, and behavior. Hate crimes and other crimes are compared in terms of perpetrators, type and degree of violence, psychological and physical trauma suffered by victims, and community impact. Psychologically based defense strategies used by perpetrators of hate crimes are critiqued. Hate crime laws are also discussed in terms of the political and social values they reflect. Finally, research and policy implications are outlined, including implications for prevention and intervention at the individual, community, and law enforcement levels.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Psychology of Hate Crimes – American Psychological Association

Many issues impacted by hate crimes can be informed by psychological research. For example, are hate crimes more harmful than other kinds of crime? Why do people commit hate crimes? What can be done to prevent or lessen the impact of hate and bias-motivated crimes? This briefing paper is designed to inform the public policy debate on hate crime with knowledge gained from psychological research. Social scientific research is beginning to yield information on the nature of crimes committed because of real or perceived differences in race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.

What is a hate crime?
Current federal law defines hate crimes as any felony or crime of violence that manifests prejudice based on “race, color, religion, or national origin” (18 U.S.C. §245). Hate crimes can be understood as criminal conduct motivated in whole or in part by a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons. Hate crimes involve a specific aspect of the victim’s identity (e.g., race). Hate crimes are not simply biases, they are dangerous actions motivated by biases (e.g., cross burnings, physical assault).

October 23, 2009

American Psychological Association Applauds Congress For Passage of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act


Principal Investigator: Dominic J Parrott
Affiliation: Georgia State University
Country: USA

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The aim of this 4-study, laboratory-based project is to investigate how dispositional (sexual prejudice, gender role beliefs, masculine gender role stress, psychopathy), situational (alcohol intoxication, gender role violations), affective, and contextual variables (provocation, masculinity threats) facilitate antigay aggression. In Studies 1-3, aggression will be measured using a modified version of the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (Taylor, 1967) in which participants administer and receive mild electric shocks to/from a fictitious opponent under the guise of a competitive reaction time task. Dispositional variables will be measured using validated self-report measures. Each study will recruit 320 adult male heterosexual participants who will be randomly assigned to compete against a heterosexual or gay male. However, each study will examine the effects of different experimental manipulations (that correspond to the long-term goals of the project) on antigay aggression. Study 1 participants will view a video depicting gender conforming or non-conforming behavior between heterosexual or gay male dyads, respectively; Study 2 participants will experience a masculinity threat from a male confederate; Study 3 will examine the effect of acute alcohol intoxication on antigay aggression toward heterosexual and homosexual men and women. Each study will assess state affect via self-report scales before and after presentation of the stimulus videos. In Studies 2 and 3, state masculine affiliation will be assessed after participants receive feedback from a male peer and after completing the competitive reaction time task. Study 4 will explore the interactive effect of sexual prejudice, gender role violations, and dispositional variables on state affect in women. Participants will be 120 adult heterosexual women who complete dispositional inventories and measures of state affect and view a video depicting either gender conforming or non-conforming behavior between heterosexual or lesbian dyads, respectively. This project will identify risk factors for antigay violence in men as well as provide new data regarding female sexual prejudice. In doing so, we will improve our knowledge of antigay violence and discrimination which, in the future, may facilitate the development of prevention and treatment interventions.

Funding Period: 2006-09-01 - 2011-08-31
Read more – Labome.Org

Project Information

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
National Institutes Of Health
Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)
Georgia State University
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 5010
Atlanta, GA 30302-5010

The Psychology of Anti-Gay Aggression – by LGBT Latest Science – July 5, 2009

Where does anti-gay aggression come from? Researchers in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University reviewed the published literature on this topic and came to some overall conclusions. The actual paper is long and is publicly available. If you are interested in this topic, especially if you are involved in supporting victims of hate or trying to prevent hate, I encourage you to visit this website and read the paper. The paper covers many other factors that contribute to anti-gay aggression, as well as theories for prevention. Read a summarization – on LGBT Latest Science

A theoretical framework for antigay aggression: Review of established and hypothesized effects within the context of the general aggression model
 Dominic J. Parrott
 Georgia State University

Theory and research on antigay aggression has identified different motives that facilitate aggression based on sexual orientation. However, the individual and situational determinants of antigay aggression associated with these motivations have yet to be organized within a single theoretical framework. This limits researchers’ ability to organize existing knowledge, link that knowledge with related aggression theory, and guide the application of new findings. To address these limitations, this article argues for the use of an existing conceptual framework to guide thinking and generate new research in this area of study. Contemporary theories of antigay aggression, and empirical support for these theories, are reviewed and interpreted within the unifying framework of the general aggression model [Anderson, C.A. & Bushman, B.J. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 27–51.]. It is concluded that this conceptual framework will facilitate investigation of individual and situational risk factors that may contribute to antigay aggression and guide development of individual-level intervention. Read complete paper – by Dominic J. Parrott, Ph.D.

Georgia State University
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 5010
Atlanta, GA 30302-5010

Does the victim cause hate crime? – by Key Sun, Ph.D. – Psychology Today

Several years ago, I was watching Matthew Shepard murder story on 20/20. On TV, Ms. Elizabeth Vargas interviewed the two offenders and asked them the question: "Did you attack him because he was a gay?" I said to myself, why didn't she ask "Did you attack him because you believed (perceived) he was a gay?" The two questions are different because the first question emphasizes the distinctiveness of victim as a reason for the offense whereas the second question suggests the offender's perception of the distinctiveness is the source of the offense. From the psychological perspective, the distinction is not ignorable.

The similar cognitive error can be found in other media reports about hate or other prejudice-motivated offenses. It is common to read a news article that explains a prejudice-motivated offense as generated by the victim's race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin, among others. In other words, people tend to use the victims' group memberships or distinctiveness (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs) to explain prejudice and related crime, assuming that individuals become the victims of prejudice or hate crime because of their group memberships.  Read complete article - by Key Sun, Ph.D. – Psychology Today

Key Sun, Ph.D.
Central Washington University
Law and Justice
Ellensburg, Washington

Stop Hate Crimes! - by Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.

Hate crimes are criminal actions intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or other minority group status. They are also referred to as bias crimes.

Sexual Orientations: Science, Educator, and Policy
This site features work by Dr. Gregory Herek, an internationally recognized authority on sexual prejudice (also called homophobia), hate crimes, and AIDS stigma. It provides factual information to promote the use of scientific knowledge for education and enlightened public policy related to sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS.

Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

University of California

One Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616-8686 USA

US Federal Bureau of Investigation - Civil Rights - Hate Crime

Hate Crime—Overview
Investigating hate crime is the number one priority of our Civil Rights Program. Why? Not only because hate crime has a devastating impact on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country.

Defining a Hate Crime

A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. Read more

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr.,
Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

Addressing Youth Bias Crime - Jordan Blair Woods

Bias crime statistics legislation does not require law enforcement agencies to collect data on the ages of bias crime perpetrators, and bias crime penalty enhancements do not distinguish between youth and adult offenders. As a result, little data exists on youth bias crime, and the consequences of applying bias crime penalty enhancements to adult and youth offenders are generally the same: increased incarceration or additional fines. This Comment unveils the troublesome frequency of youth bias crimes and illustrates that the justifications underlying the application of bias crime penalty enhancements to adult offenders do not apply similarly to youth bias crime offenders. A synthesis of the limited existing data on youth bias crime reveals that, on average, one in every four bias crimes involve at least one youth offender and approximately three in every five bias crimes committed against youth victims are perpetrated by youth offenders. Rather than increase incarceration sentences or impose additional fines, I propose that bias crime penalty enhancements, as applied to youth bias crime offenders, should mandate rehabilitation programs to force youth offenders to confront the biases that motivate their crimes. I contend that requiring youth bias crime offenders to complete these programs is more consistent with the goals of juvenile justice than more punitive penalty-enhancement alternatives.

University of Cambridge

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Gay-Straight Alliances and Sanctioning Pretextual Discrimination Under the Equal Access Act - Jordan Blair Woods

This article addresses manipulation of the federal Equal Access Act to allow prejudice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students who wish to form gay-straight alliances (GSA) in public schools. By focusing on patterns of argumentation in the recent surge of GSA litigation, this article argues that the incorporation of the constitutionally stringent standard developed by the Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District into the Equal Access Act's safe harbor exceptions is necessary to prevent courts from discriminating against LGBTQ students and from giving effect to the private homophobic and transphobic prejudices of community members, parents, and school administrators. Incorporating a more deferential reasonableness standard into the Equal Access Act's safe harbor exceptions allows school administrators to invoke LGBTQ student safety disingenuously as a pretext to ban GSAs; thus, the exact discrimination that the Equal Access Act was designed to prohibit becomes a way to evade its intended purpose.

University of Cambridge

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Taking the 'Hate' Out of Hate Crimes: Applying Unfair Advantage Theory to Justify the Enhanced Punishment of Opportunistic Bias Crimes - Jordan Blair Woods

Should bias crime perpetrators who, for personal gain, intentionally select victims from social groups that they perceive to be more vulnerable be punished similarly to typical bias crime perpetrators who are motivated by group hatred? In this Comment, I apply unfair advantage theory to argue that enhancing the punishment of opportunistic bias crimes is proper because of the perpetrators' motivations and the crimes' harmful effects. In its most basic form, unfair advantage theory justifies punishment based on the unfair advantage that criminals obtain over law-abiding members of society by violating the law. I contend that the enhanced punishment of opportunistic bias crimes is justified because the advantages that perpetrators obtain by committing them are greater than the advantages obtained from parallel crimes. In terms of motivation, I argue that opportunistic bias crimes warrant additional punishment because perpetrators unfairly and deliberately capitalize upon perceived disadvantages stemming from their victims' group membership. In terms of harmful effects, I argue that opportunistic bias crimes warrant additional punishment because such crimes perpetrate the belief that certain victims are easier crime targets because of disadvantages stemming from victims' group membership. Perpetuating this belief enables potential offenders to continue to profit unfairly from exploiting the perceived disadvantages tied to group membership by committing opportunistic bias crimes in the future. I also posit that the application of unfair advantage theory to defend the enhanced punishment of opportunistic bias crimes is supported all three fundamental theories of punishment: retribution, utilitarianism, and denunciation. 

University of Cambridge

Reconceptualizing Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes as Burdening Expression and Association: A Case for Expanding Federal Hate Crime Legislation to Include Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation - Jordan Blair Woods

Journal of Hate Studies, Vol 6, No 1 (2007)

The purpose of this article is to bring to the attention of researchers, scholars, and politicians an important point about the harms to LGBT victims resulting from hate crimes—one that, in my view, is ignored and is critical to the justifications for allowing bias crime victims to obtain legal compensation for being victimized on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. More specifically, this article critiques the current framing of anti-LGBT hate crimes in scholarship and empirical research and reconceptualizes these crimes as systemic inhibitors to expressive and associative opportunities on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation (this argument will be developed in Part IV).

The Judicial View, L.L.C.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A call for psychologists to speak up for laws against employment discrimination. - LGBT Latest Science - April 4, 2010

The Social and Economic Imperative of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Supportive Organizational Policies 
 George Mason University

The central premise of this article is that organizations have social and economic interests in building policies and practices that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) workers. This argument is based on empirical evidence that (a) LGBT workers continue to face discrimination at work from which they are not protected under federal law, and (b) discrimination has negative consequences for individual’s mental and physical health, and on reasoning that (c) organizations share responsibility for the social good of the communities in which they operate. We offer practical suggestions for creating LGBT-supportive organizations and propose that industrial-organizational psychologists have an ethical obligation to support such efforts.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3 (2010), 69-78. Copyright © 2010 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 1754-9426/09

Notice of this paper - courtesy of LGBT Latest Science

Creating LGBT Acceptance at Work - LGBT Latest Science - April 4, 2010

Even if your workplace has non-discrimination policies and great benefits for same-sex couples, that might not be reflected in the daily behavior of employees or management. If you are straight, this article describes some things that you can do. If you are LGBT, the article also describes some things that you can do.

Everyone deserves to be themselves at work.
Read more - LGBT Latest Science

Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3 (2010), 82-85. Copyright © 2010 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 1754-9426/09

Additional Agents of Change in Promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Inclusiveness in Organizations
 Larry R. Martinez and Michelle R. Hebl 
Rice University

King and Cortina (2010) describe several ways in which organizations can promote equity in the workplace environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) employees. We commend the authors for promoting such inclusiveness and describing both the moral and fiscally responsible reasons for doing so. We are hopeful that employers will heed the valuable suggestions offered by King and Cortina and work to adopt formal policies that protect the rights of LGBT employees, launch diversity initiatives to make LGBT employees feel more accepted, and advocate on behalf of LGBT interests.
Read complete paper -

Notice of this paper - courtesy of LGBT Latest Science

Oppression by Scientific Method: The Use of Science to “Other” Sexual Minorities - James M. Mohr - July 17, 2009

Gonzaga University
Institute for Action Against Hate
Spokane, Washington


...In conclusion, scientific judgments formed by anti-LGB groups are rooted in a heterosexist context, eliminating any claims to objectivity and serving only to provide a rationale for promoting anti-LGB prejudices. Preconceived ideas frame the research into homosexuality, determine the criteria for data analysis, and influence the conclusions drawn from the research. This science provides cover for politicians, religious leaders, and activists who wish to promote discrimination and prejudice against sexual minorities through defining them as the Other. Studies that create statistics "proving" that sexual minorities are at risk for disease, mental illness, or engaging in unhealthy practices ignore the role that factors such as violence and discrimination against LGB individuals may play in these figures. Science does not exist outside the social, cultural, or political contexts within which it is constructed; rather, it is an integral component of these contexts and can often be used within a discourse of Othering to rationalize oppression against and power over the hated Other.
Read complete paper - by Professor James M. Mohr

Notice of this paper - courtesy of LGBT Latest Science

Gonzaga University
Institute for Action Against Hate

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Conversion therapy for homosexuals should not be funded by the NHS - Deborah Cohen - British Medical Journal

…Speaking for the motion, junior doctor, Tom Dolphin said, "This isn’t about therapy designed to help reconcile people to their sexuality, which is laudable and appropriate. I’m talking about therapy aimed at changing that sexual orientation.

"Conversion therapy does not work, and can be actively harmful. Sexual orientation is such a fundamental part of who someone is that to attempt to change it will just result in significant conflict and depression, and even sometimes suicide." Read more

US denies Vatican sex abuse immunity – The Sydney Morning Herald – June 30, 2010

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by the Vatican for immunity in a high-profile paedophilia case, dealing a setback to the Holy See as it tries to protect itself from a litany of sex abuse cases.

The court refused without comment to consider whether the Vatican had legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lower court suit filed in 2002 to proceed. Read more

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pope slams cardinal who exposed abuse cover-up - San Francisco Chronicle – June 29, 2010

The silencing of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna and long considered a papal contender, drew heated criticism from clerical abuse victims...

In Washington on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the Vatican in which it argued that the abuse lawsuit should be dismissed based on sovereign immunity. 

…The Vatican is accused of conspiring with U.S. church officials to transfer a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations that the clergyman sexually abused young people. Read complete article