RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – In the wake of mass murder in Orlando and the passage of House Bill 2 in North Carolina, a law requiring individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate, RTI International will self-fund research to better understand LGBTQ communities and violence in the United States.
“House Bill 2 was passed under the premise that allowing transgender people to use the restroom with others of the gender with which they identify opens a gateway for victimization of women and children,” said Tasseli McKay, the project’s leader and a research public health analyst at RTI. “As researchers, we’re skeptical of that idea, because we’re not aware of any evidence that suggests that members of LGBTQ communities are more likely to perpetrate violence—in fact, prior studies suggest that LGBTQ people are more likely to be victims of some forms of violence.”
RTI researchers will review evidence from research studies on violence and LGBTQ communities, summarize the findings, and identify key patterns and research gaps. Researchers will also review studies to better understand feelings of safety and fears of victimization in LGBTQ communities.
“At RTI, we conduct violence and victimization research in many areas; however, rigorous research on victimization in LBGTQ communities tends to be lacking, and we want to change that,” said Christine Lindquist, Ph.D., a senior research sociologist at RTI. “Through this study, we hope to gain a better understanding of what is known in this area and then propose a research agenda to inform evidence-based, rather than fear-based, public policies.”
RTI expects to complete the research by the end of September.