Gay is synonymous with the lesser: an investigative study into gender differences in homophobic Hate crime in Portsmouth

Preston, Josephine Eleanor Grace (2016) Gay is synonymous with the lesser: an investigative study into gender differences in homophobic Hate crime in Portsmouth. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK in 1967, when the Sexual Offences Act 1967 legalised homosexual acts between two consenting men over the age of 21 (Wilson, 2014, p.87). This was a huge breakthrough for gay rights, however discrimination against the LGBT + Community has continued to this day. Section 28 of the local Government Act of 1988, which was drafted by Margaret Thatcher, aimed to prevent education authorities in the UK from teaching or promoting homosexuality (Greenland & Nunney, 2008, p.243). This was a result of Thatcher's belief in the importance of family values, which stemmed from her strict religious beliefs (Smith, 2007, p.4). Religion in the UK, particularly Christianity, has played a significant part in the continued discrimination of the homosexual community. A notable recent case is that of the Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland, who refused to make a cake that supported same sex marriage, because of their strong religious beliefs (White,2016). The judge ruled that, despite their religious beliefs, there was no excuse for them to deny service to the customer based on their sexuality, and found them guilty of discrimination (White, 2016). Thus highlighting how religious beliefs continue to be used to justify homophobic discrimination against the LGBT+ Community.
    HHC didn't come into legislation until 2003, when Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act made it mandatory for courts to consider hostility based upon Sexual Orientation, as an aggravating factor when sentencing an offender. Offenders who demonstrate hostility, or motivation based on hostility, will thus be given a more serious sentence (Chakraborti & Garland, 2015, p.50). Further important legislation is Section 74 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which amended the Public Order Act 1986 to include the offence of the incitement of hatred based upon Sexual Orientation (Chakraborti & Garland, 2015, p.50). This therefore gave similar legal provision to gay people that had already been provided for ethnic minorities and religious communities (Chakaraborti & Garland, 2015, p.50). These acts of legislation demonstrated the acknowledgement of the seriousness of homophobia, and the damaging effect that it can have.
    Analysis of existing HHC research shows a gender difference in the experiences of homophobia. Herek's research into how sexual prejudice varies according to gender, showed that heterosexual men's attitudes towards lesbians are significantly less hostile than towards gay men ,(2000, p.4). This is due to heterosexism, which instils masculine gender role stress and the subordination of women in society (Parrott,2009, p.1138; Jackson, 1999, p.30). Masculine gender role stress is the aggression or violence perpetrated by men to enforce gender norms, thus resulting in homophobia towards gay men for they are not perceived as masculine (Parrott, 2009, p.1138). Heterosexism also causes the subordination of women, for it depicts their only role as being to reproduce, and to serve and sexually please men (Jackson, 1999, p.30). Women in the LGBT+ Community are therefore discriminated against for they do not conform to the roles given to them by society.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 09:30
    Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 09:31

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