Perceptions of victimization risk and fear of crime among lesbians and gay men

Melanie D. Otis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on fear of crime has evolved to suggest the existence of a complex relationship between individual, lifestyle, and contextual factors. Past work generally focuses on predominantly heterosexual populations; this study examines correlates of fear of crime and perceptions of risk among a sample of 272 self-identified lesbians and gay men. Higher levels of perceived risk and fear of victimization were found among females, persons in neighborhoods characterized by incivility, and persons who had experienced previous victimization. Perceived risks of personal and property victimization were similar for males and females. Contrary to past research, women did not seem to view all types of potential victimization as opportunities for sexual assault. Instead, fear of victimization was offense specific - past personal victimization predicted fear of future personal victimization, and past property victimization predicted fear of future property victimization. Similarities and differences between current findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-217
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Fear of crime
  • Lesbians and gay men
  • Perceived risk
  • Sexual minorities
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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