Despite increased attention in the area of hate crime research in the past 20 years, sexual orientation bias crimes have rarely been singled out for study. When these types of crimes are looked at, the studies are typically descriptive in nature. This article seeks to increase our knowledge of sexual orientation bias by answering the question: What are the differences between sexual orientation motivated bias crimes and racial bias crimes? This question is examined using data from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and multiple regression techniques. This analysis draws on the strengths of NIBRS to look at the incident characteristics of hate crimes and distinguishing characteristics of sexual orientation crimes. Specifically this analysis looks at the types and seriousness of offenses motivated by sexual orientation bias as opposed to race bias as well as victim and offender characteristics. The findings suggest that there are differences between these two types of bias crimes, suggesting a need for further separation of the bias types in policy and research.
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