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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204398 Find in a Library
Title: Experiencing Hate Speech: Perceptions and Responses to Anti-Semitism and Antigay Speech
Journal: Journal of Social Issues  Volume:58  Issue:2  Dated:Summer 2002  Pages:341-361
Author(s): Laura Leets
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined people's perceptions of both the antecedents and outcomes of hate speech against Jews and homosexuals.
Abstract: The 120 study participants consisted of 71 Jews (42 males and 29 females) and 49 homosexuals (28 males and 21 females) from 1 public and 1 private university. Cochran's Q statistic tested repeated-measures data that indicated the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event. All hate speech examples were based on actual situations so as to increase external validity. In addition, subjects were given the opportunity to provide their own experiences of hate speech. Issues examined through a questionnaire booklet were speaker's perceived motive, participant's estimated short-term and long-term consequences, participant's estimated response strategy, and participant's likelihood of seeking support. The study found that the short-term effects of hate speech were more emotional than attitudinal or behavioral; and the long-term consequences were more attitudinal and behavioral than emotional. "No effect" was a common response for both short-term and long-term assessments. Across the hate messages, the top three attributed motives (ignorance, repressed hostility, and social learning) were associated with a passive response. Contrary to expectations, Jews were not more likely to be assertive than gays; passive strategies were the most commonly adopted response to the person who had made a hateful comment. As expected, homosexuals were more likely as a group to seek support than Jews. They were also more consistent in acknowledging an immediate emotional response than were the Jews. The study showed that targets of epithets can follow the same predictable three-stage pattern found in other traumatic events, depending on how the target of the hate speech perceives and appraises the incident. Future research should identify strategies that could mitigate negative personal and societal effects of hate speech. 3 tables and 61 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Discrimination against homosexuals; Hate Crimes; Psychological victimization effects; Racial discrimination
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