Can Science Help Reduce GLBT Hate Crimes?

September 6, 2013 by Justin Lehmiller

Hate crimes are an all too common reality in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community. There have been countless instances in recent years in which GLBT persons have been the victims of vicious attacks because of their actual or perceived identity. Despite the increased social acceptance of GLBT individuals we have witnessed, the number of hate crimes has actually risen in many areas, including some places that are considered relatively gay-friendly (e.g., New York City). So is there anything that can be done to reduce and prevent future hate crimes? This is the research question Dr. Karen Blair of the University of Utah hopes to answer in a planned study, but she needs help in order to carry out this important research project.

Dr. Blair’s goal is to study the psychophysiology behind hate crimes. In other words, she plans to explore what happens inside the brains and bodies of prejudiced persons when they are exposed to GLBT individuals (in Dr. Blair’s words, “What makes someone go from seeing gay, to seeing red?“). She also plans to test ways of reducing prejudice against GLBT persons that could potentially have implications for reducing future hate crimes.

In order to conduct this research, Dr. Blair is “crowdfunding” it, which means that the only way this project will get off the ground is if enough people care about and contribute to it. If you would like to help out or learn more about this research, click here. All funds will go directly to covering research costs (e.g., purchasing equipment, advertising the study, compensating participants). Any investment you can make (regardless of whether it is big or small) will help ensure that this project moves forward and that we can learn from the findings.

Click here to learn about other opportunities for getting involved in crowdfunded research in psychology and other fields of science.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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