Environmental and social stressors
The gay man, like the boy considered to be effeminate, endangers the male domination system that governs the world. The gay man who declares his homosexuality automatically loses the higher social status de facto attributed to men in society and becomes a “fag”, ie a sub-man. In addition to the profound feeling of being devalued, he lives in fear of being ridiculed, discriminated against, insulted, and struck throughout his life. Our data show that gay men are on average 3 to 4 times more likely to be abused than men in the general population during their lifetime.
Contrary to what one might expect, the gay community, its real and virtual spaces, is not a refuge and does not always offer protection against stigma and discrimination to its members. The vast majority of gay media and many gay men are disproportionately cultured to a manhood of appearance and pageantry. A gay man whose appearance or behavior is judged to be feminine will therefore also be stigmatized in the gay community, as well as gays who are HIV-positive (not clean), too young, too old, not white, etc. Reading the exclusions on dating apps gives some uplifting examples.
11% to 14% of gay men have experienced at least a major discrimination in their lives. It is striking to note that in 3 out of 5 situations, this discrimination took place in the context of employment, while 80% of the same gay men feel satisfied or very satisfied with their work. 12% of gay men say they have been abused by the police
This table shows how the stigmatization of homosexuality is reflected daily in the relationship with others, whether at school, at work, in leisure activities or sports. The homosexual man, especially if his expression of gender is considered as feminine, is the object of daily direct and indirect discrimination. Society tends to view this type of discrimination as not so serious. In fact, if the discriminated person does not have the resources to cope and protect himself, his morale and health will be undermined in the long run.
Respondents matched by age, region and nationality. Source Federal Statistical Office, FSO 1997
Gay men are 3 to 4 times more likely to be abused than men in the general population in Switzerland. The most common violence is verbal aggression. Almost a quarter of gay men were victimized in the 12 months preceding the surveys. Street comments like the word “fagot” is still very often used to stigmatize homosexual men and all men whose behavior or attitude is considered feminine. The relatively large number of robbery is likely to be related to the homosexuals’ cruising patterns on the street or at night. Physical aggression sometimes follows verbal aggression, especially during adolescence. They are still common in places of dredge. Finally, homosexual men are also victims of sexual harassment, including in the gay community, disproportionately.
Nearly 60% of gay men have been verbally abused during their lifetime and more than 50% have been stolen at their home. Nearly a quarter were victims of physical aggression. 13% were victims of sexual harassment and almost 10% of rapes. There are no provisions in criminal law for male rape in Swiss and that the author of such an act can be sentenced to a simple fine, which is perfectly incomprehensible and discriminatory towards all men.
2002 - 2011
This graph compares the data collected in 2002 with the data for 2011. We note that the violence did not decrease during this period but on the contrary slightly increased. Two hypotheses can explain these figures, either the violence has really increased or with the improvement of communication on these issues in the gay community, more gay men admit to having been victims of violence
2002 - 2011
Young gay men are most often victims of violence. School, school path, neighborhood centers and other places frequented by young people are privileged places of harassment, stigmatization and verbal and physical violence. Violence against homosexual men, however, remains high in all age groups.
Violence against gay men is not necessarily homophobic violence. When asked about verbal and physical abuse, about 60% of victims said that their homosexuality was the cause of the violence they had suffered.
50% of victims of physical assault, sometimes very violent, do not complain to the police. When asked about this, victims say they do not complain mainly because of fear of police bias, or being accused of being responsible for the experienced violence or fear of exposing their homosexuality. Nearly 45% of men who complain are not satisfied with the work of the police. It is this data and the recurring attacks on homosexuals in the streets and the parks that prompted Dialogai to set up a working group bringing together the police and active associations on violence to prevent these attacks and violence and to improve the relationship of trust between gays and the police. The 2014 “Homophobic Assault in Geneva” report describes the context and objectives of this work.
Domestic violence affects all types of couples, including gay men, in all social classes. It takes different forms: psychological (like denigrating one’s partner, controlling one’s relationships, etc.), physical (like hitting, shoving, immobilizing, etc.), economic (controlling money, not giving enough money for the household or for personal care, etc.) and sexual (harassing, coercing unwanted sexual acts, raping, etc.).
Domestic violence concerns between current partners and ex-partners but also between regular sex partners (fuckbuddies). The existence of a formal partnership contract between partners is not necessary to talk about domestic violence.
Psychological and verbal abuse is most common in male couples. 36% of them experienced some form of conjugal abuse in their lifetime, 7% in the 12 months before the survey. Although these figures are somewhat lower than statistics on domestic violence in the canton of Geneva, gay men in couples are almost as often victims of conjugal violence as women in the general population.
Men often have more difficulty complaining about the violence they experience than women. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you will find useful information on the website of the association ViolenceQueFaire and the LAVI center for victims of violence.
Being a victim of an episode of violence has harmful and often long-lasting health consequences. Victims report physical assaults as having the greatest negative impact, but for violence specialists, all violence has a significant negative impact on health, including psychological abuse