Violence, Prejudice and Sexuality
Published March 25th 2009 by Routledge – 188 pages
The binary model of sexuality can be devastating and even fatal for people left outside the category of heterosexuality. Essentialist categories of sexuality and gender are often enforced by harassment and violence, as is clear in the case of violence directed against sexual minorities such as homosexual men. This book investigates why men launch assaults on sexual minorities, why these attacks are so vicious and frequently irrational, the identities of perpetrators and their victims, and why such violence seems to have some acceptance in fields such as law, psychiatry, the media and popular opinion.
Tomsen discusses the theoretical and research literatures on models of understanding human sexuality and gender and the nature of hate violence and prejudice in contemporary societies, and also provides an analysis from his own original research to draw out the contradictory nature of both sexual identity and violence and the significance of viewing both fields as linked domains. This text makes an important contribution to current and future discussions of the nature of social prejudice and its ties to legal rulings, collective beliefs and mainstream culture.
1. Understanding Sexual Diversity 2. ‘Homophobia’ and the Social Context of Sexual Prejudice 3. Violence and ‘Hate Crime’ 4. Researching Anti-Homosexual Killings 5. Killings as ‘Hate Crimes’? 6. Male Honour and the ‘Homosexual Advance’ 7. Violence, Identity and Panic 8. Demons and Victims Conclusion: Essentialism, Activism and Citizenship
Stephen Tomsen is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Western Sydney.