The phenomenon of hate crimes in the United States

Authors


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wen Cheng, Center for Teacher Education, National Sun Yet-sen University, 70 Lienhai Rd., Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan, R.O.C. E-mail: wen.cheng@mavs.uta.edu

Abstract

This review examines the phenomenon of hate crimes in the United States. Findings derived from the FBI data for the period 1996–2008 revealed that the incidence of anti-racial hate crimes varied among different racial groups, that antireligious hate crimes were committed toward Jews and Muslims more than toward others, and that antisexual orientation hate crimes focused on male homosexuals more than others. Antireligious hate crimes were more likely to be directed against property, whereas anti-racial and antisexual orientation hate crimes were more likely to be directed against people. We discuss these findings in the light of some relevant theoretical perspectives from social psychology. Potential solutions to hate crimes could be developed by focusing on the most relevant predictive factors.

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