Entries in prejudice (6)

Wednesday
Nov132013

The Science of Hate Crimes: When Prejudice Turns to Violence

Scott Jones. Marc Carson. Michael Felenchak. Peter Nortman. Nick Porto. Kevin Atkins. Jacqueline Clarke. Ali Matson. Kerry Tyler. Ben Stoviak.

These names represent just a handful of individuals who have recently been physically attacked because of their actual or perceived sexuality. There has been an apparent surge in violent responses to same-sex couples who display affection in public (such as holding hands or kissing). Two women were attacked in Vancouver after holding hands and kissing on a public transit bus. A number of male same-sex couples have been attacked in NYC while holding hands, some even in broad daylight in areas of the city known to be gay-friendly. Yet another gay couple is launching a human rights case against a taxi cab company whose employee tried to force the couple out of his cab on a busy expressway after the couple shared a kiss in the back seat of their cab.

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Friday
Oct112013

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand"...But I Can’t

To hold or not to hold…hands, that is. When you’re in a relationship, are you a hand-holder, or do you prefer to keep your hands to yourself? Perhaps you find your hand gets too sweaty when in the embrace of another, or maybe you only hold hands seasonally when doing so will provide you with an extra bit of needed warmth in the deep freeze of January. Wherever you fall on this spectrum of loving to hold hands or avoiding it like the plague, imagine for a moment that it wasn’t up to you whether or not you could hold hands with your partner. Perhaps, if you hate to hold hands anyway, your response to such a scenario would be a sense of relief. But if you fall on the other side of the spectrum, where you love to walk hand in hand with your partner, you’re probably a bit confused and baffled as to why this simple and personal decision could be taken away from you. Such may be the case for marginalized couples, for whom PDAs may bring unwanted attention, stigma or even violence. Could avoiding PDAs have potential health implications?

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Thursday
Sep122013

Made in America: Russia’s Proposal to Remove Children from Same-Sex Parented Households

Do Russian same-sex couples with children need to begin seeking asylum in other countries? According to a Russian journalist and LGBTQ activist, that’s exactly what they need to do.Earlier this year, Russia made adoption, foreign and domestic, by same-sex parents illegal and also passed what they call the “anti-propaganda” law, which all but criminalizes same-sex sexuality. For example, it is illegal to display rainbow flags, to compare same-sex relationships to heterosexual relationships, or to speak about sexual diversity in a positive manner (even in the press). Earlier this week, things went from bad to worse when a member of the Russian Parliament put forward a bill that would remove children, both biological and adopted, from households with same-sex parents. If this new bill passes, children with same-sex parents will become wards of the state, similar to children who are deemed to have "unfit" parents for reasons of abuse, negligence, or drug addiction. Many of the recent changes to Russian laws that have been infringing on the rights of LGBTQ individuals have taken place under the guise of "protecting children" from potential sources of sexual abuse and from learning about same-sex sexuality as a "viable" alternative to heterosexuality.

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Friday
Jun012012

Thou Doth Protest Too Much: Are Homophobes Homosexual?

Last month, President Obama came out in support of gay marriage. Stephen Colbert was quick to quip that he was astonished that Obama admitted he was gay and Newsweek coined him “the first gay president.”

Of course, supporting civil rights for LGBT individuals is not synonymous with being gay. But, the vehemence with which some people deny that they are gay and go out of their way to prevent gay people from enjoying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has always been confusing to us. Recent research may help clarify why some individuals appear to be anti-gay.

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Friday
Apr132012

Interracial Marriage Has Reached An All-Time High, But Attitudes Toward It Are Still Evolving

The Pew Research Center recently reported that the rate of interracial marriage has reached an all-time high in the United States,1 with 8.4% of all marriages being between members of different races. If we look only at new marriages (i.e., couples who were married in the three years before these data were collected), the proportion that is interracial nearly doubles to 15%. For comparison purposes, the number was just 3.2% in 1980! Thus, interracial marriage has seen marked growth in the past three decades. Despite these changes, a large number of Americans still seem to have a problem with interracial couples, and this bias has negative effects on the people who are in these relationships.

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Wednesday
Mar212012

Are Single People Stigmatized by Society?

If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you…Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone? – Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

Over the past few decades, the rate of marriage has declined while the rate of divorce has crept up. In spite of these major social shifts, most people still view marriage positively and think of it as the ideal state we should strive for. In fact, we hold the institution of marriage in such high regard that not only do we celebrate and reward marriages with extravagant ceremonies and gifts (even when it’s someone’s second, third, or fourth wedding!), but society also gives preferential treatment to people who are married. This bias favoring married over single people has only recently caught scientists’ attention and we are just beginning to learn how deep this prejudice runs.

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