DataBank Indicator

Victims of Hate Speech

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The proportion of teens reporting that hate-related words were directed at them declined between 1999 and 2013, from 13 to 7 percent.

Importance

For students, there can be many negative consequences of being a target of hate-related words. Hate speech, for purposes of this indicator, refers to “a derogatory word having to do with their race, religion, Hispanic origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation at school.”[1] These experiences can affect students’ school performance. Victims of hate speech are more likely to express fear of violence traveling to and from school and at school, which can lead to avoidance of school, classes and extracurricular activities.[2] They may also feel anger, personal hurt and betrayal, and/or a sense of powerlessness and isolation.[3] Targets of peer harassment (which may include hate speech) experience loneliness, depression and low self-worth.[4],[5] According to one study, students (ages 12-18) who reported having been a target of hate speech were 1.5 times more likely than other students to report being nonviolently victimized, and 3.1 times more likely to report being violently victimized while at school.[6]

Trends

94_fig1The total proportion of students ages 12 to 18 who reported being targets of hate-related words at school during the previous six months declined between 1999 and 2013, from 13 to 7 percent. (Figure 1) A large part of that decline can be attributed to a reduction in the percentage of students who reported hate-related words referring to gender, which fell to less than half of what it was in 1999, from 2.8 to 1.0 percent. (Appendix 1)

Students were most likely to report hate-related words referring to their race (three percent in 2013). Two percent of students reported being targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, and around one percent of students reported being targeted for their religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. (Appendix 1)

Differences by Gender

94_fig2Although the overall percentage of students reporting being victims of hate speech is not significantly different for boys and girls, girls were more likely to report being targets of hate-related words based on gender discrimination than were boys (1.7 percent compared with 0.7, in 2013). No other gender differences were statistically significant in 2013. (Figure 2)

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin[7]

94_fig3In 2013, Black and Asian students were more likely to report being the target of hate-related words than their white peers (8 and 10 percent, respectively, compared with 5 percent of white students). (Figure 3)

In 2013 white students were less likely than any of their peers to experience hate related words regarding race. They were also less likely than their Hispanic peers to experience hate related words regarding ethnicity. Additionally, in 2013, Asians were more likely than Hispanic students to experience hate related words regarding either race or ethnicity, and more likely than black students to experience hate related words regarding ethnicity. (Figure 3)

Differences by Urbanicity

In 2013, urban students were no more likely to be the target of hate-related words than suburban or rural students.  (Appendix 1)

State and Local Estimates

None available.

International Estimates

None available.

National Goals

None.

Related Indicators

Definition

For purposes of this indicator, a hate-related word is “a derogatory or bad name concerning race, religion, Hispanic origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.” Students were asked if anyone had called them a hate-related word at school in the past school year, though in previous years the question asked about the previous six months. “At school” means in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school.

Data Sources

Data for 2013: Robers, S., Zhang, A, Morgan, R., & Musu-Gillette, L. (2015). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2014 (NCES 2015072). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Tables 10.1 and 10.2. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2014/.

All data for 2011 and data for total hate-related words 2001-2009: Robers, S., Kemp, J., Truman, J., & Snyder, T. (2013). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2012 (NCES 2013-036/NCJ 241446). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Tables 10.1 and 10.2. Available at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2012/.

Data by type of hate speech for 2009: Robers, S., Zhang, J., and Truman, J. (2010). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2010 (NCES 2011-002/NCJ 230812). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011002.

Data by type of hate speech for 2007: Dinkes, R., Kemp, J., and Baum, K. (2009). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2008 (NCES 2009–022/NCJ 226343). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2009022.

Data by type of hate speech for 2005: Dinkes, R., Cataldi, E.F., Kena, G., and Baum, K. (2006). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2006 (NCES 2007–003/NCJ 214262). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007003.

Data by type of hate speech for 2003: DeVoe, J.F., Peter, K., Kaufman, P., Ruddy, S.A., Miller, A.K., Planty, M., Snyder, T.D., and Rand, M.R. (2003). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2003 (NCES 2004–004/NCJ 201257). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2004004.

Data by type of hate speech for 2001: DeVoe, J.F., Peter, K., Kaufman, P., Ruddy, S.A., Miller, A.K., Planty, M., Snyder, T.D., Duhart, D.T., and Rand, M.R. (2002). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2002 (NCES 2003–009/NCJ 196753). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=990.

All data for 1999: Kaufman, P., Chen, X., Choy, S. P., Peter, K., Ruddy S. A., Miller, A. K., Fleury, J. K., Chandler, K. A., Planty, M. G., & Rand, M. R. (2001). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2001 (NCES 2002-113/NCJ 190075). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Table 14.1. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=991.

Raw Data Source

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics

School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1999-2013.

http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245

19992 20012 20032 20052 2007 2009 2011 2013
Total 13.2 12.3 11.7 11.2 9.7 8.7 9.1 6.6
Gender
Male 12.3 12.8 12.0 11.7 9.9 8.5 9.0 6.6
Female 14.3 11.7 11.3 10.7 9.6 8.9 9.1 6.7
Types of Hate Speech3
Race 4.2 4.0 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.5 3.3
Ethnicity 2.7 2.4 2.6 2.9 2.8 2.8 1.9
Religion 1.8 1.4 1.7 1.6 1.7 1.4 1.2
Disability 1.1 1.1 0.7 1.0 0.8 1.2 0.8
Gender 2.8 2.3 2.1 2.0 1.8 1.4 1.0
Sexual Orientation 1.2 1.3 1.1 1.0 0.6 1.3 1.1
Race/Ethnicity4
White, non-Hispanic 12.6 12.1 10.9 10.3 8.9 7.2 8.3 5.3
Black, non-Hispanic 16.5 13.9 14.2 15.1 11.4 11.1 10.7 7.8
Hispanic 12.1 11.0 11.4 10.5 10.6 11.2 9.8 7.4
Asian 10.9 11.1 10.7 9.0 10.3
Other, non-Hispanic 15.5 13.6 14.1 14.2 10.6 10.0 10.4 11.2
19992 20012 20032 20052 2007 2009 2011 2013
Grade
6th 13.0 12.1 11.9 11.1 12.1 8.3 9.0 6.7
7th 15.7 14.1 12.5 13.1 10.7 9.6 9.9 7.5
8th 16.0 13.0 12.8 11.2 11.0 10.9 8.4 7.4
9th 13.2 12.1 13.5 12.8 10.9 8.0 10.2 6.6
10th 11.8 13.1 11.6 10.9 9.0 9.7 9.6 6.4
11th 10.5 12.7 8.3 9.0 8.6 8.4 8.7 7.5
12th 11.7 7.9 10.8 9.7 6.0 5.8 7.5 4.1
Urbanicity6
Urban 14.0 11.9 13.2 12.2 9.7 9.9 8.1 7.2
Suburban 13.3 12.4 10.7 9.4 9.3 8.3 9.8 6.6
Rural 12.2 12.4 12.2 15.5 11.0 8.1 8.5 5.7
Type of School
Public 13.8 12.7 11.9 11.6 10.1 8.9 9.3 6.6
Private 8.1 8.2 9.7 6.8 6.1 6.6 6.9 6.7
“-” Indicates data not available.

1 “At school” means in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school.

2 After 2005, the reference period was the school year, while in prior survey years the reference period was the previous 6 months. Cognitive testing showed that estimates from 2007 and 2009 are comparable to previous years.

3 Students were asked if they were the targets of hate-related words at school. If the students responded that they were called a hate-related word, they were asked to choose the specific characteristics that the hate-related word targeted. Students were allowed to choose more than one characteristic. If a student chose more than one characteristic, he or she is counted once under the “total” category. Therefore, the percent of students who reported being called a hate-related word is less than the sum of all the individual characteristics.

4 Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Due to changes in racial/ethnic categories, comparisons of race/ethnicity across years should be made with caution.

5 Includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian (prior to 2005), Pacific Islander, and, from 2003 onward, two or more races.

6 Refers to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status of the respondent’s household as defined in 2000 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Categories include “central city of an MSA (Urban),” “in MSA but not in central city (Suburban),” and “not MSA (Rural).”

Sources: All data for 1999: Kaufman, P., Chen, X., Choy, S. P., Peter, K., Ruddy S. A., Miller, A. K., Fleury, J. K., Chandler, K. A., Planty, M. G., & Rand, M. R. (2001). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2001 (NCES 2002-113/NCJ 190075). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Table 14.1. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=991. Data by type of hate speech for 2001: DeVoe, J.F., Peter, K., Kaufman, P., Ruddy, S.A., Miller, A.K., Planty, M., Snyder, T.D., Duhart, D.T., and Rand, M.R. (2002). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2002 (NCES 2003–009/NCJ 196753). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=990. Data by type of hate speech for 2003: DeVoe, J.F., Peter, K., Kaufman, P., Ruddy, S.A., Miller, A.K., Planty, M., Snyder, T.D., and Rand, M.R. (2003). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2003 (NCES 2004–004/NCJ 201257). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2004004. Data by type of hate speech for 2005: Dinkes, R., Cataldi, E.F., Kena, G., and Baum, K. (2006). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2006 (NCES 2007–003/NCJ 214262). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007003. Data by type of hate speech for 2007: Dinkes, R., Kemp, J., and Baum, K. (2009). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2008 (NCES 2009–022/NCJ 226343). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2009022. Data by type of hate speech for 2009: Robers, S., Zhang, J., and Truman, J. (2010). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2010 (NCES 2011-002/NCJ 230812). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011002. All data for 2011 and data for total hate-related words 2001-2009: Robers, S., Kemp, J., Truman, J., & Snyder, T. (2013). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2012 (NCES 2013-036/NCJ 241446). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Tables 10.1 and 10.2. Available at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2012/. Data for 2013: Robers, S., Zhang, A, Morgan, R., & Musu-Gillette, L. (2015). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2014 (NCES  2015072). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Tables 10.1 and 10.2. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2014/.

 

Appendix 2 – Percentage of Students, Ages 12-18, Who Reported Being Targets of Hate-Related Words at School During the School Year, by Selected Student Characteristics: 2013

Total1 Type of Discrimination
Race Ethnicity Religion Disability Gender Sexual Orientation
Total 6.6 3.3 1.9 1.2 0.8 1.0 1.0
Gender
Male 6.6 3.5 1.9 1.0 0.7 0.3 0.9
Female 6.7 3.1 1.9 1.4 0.9 1.7 1.3
Race/Hispanic origin
White, non-Hispanic 5.3 1.6 0.8 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.3
Black, non-Hispanic 7.8 5.8 1.9 1.0* 1.0* 1.1*
Hispanic 7.4 3.9 3.7 1.0 0.9 0.8*
Asian 10.3 8.5 7.1 2.1*
Other, non-Hispanic2 11.2 8.3
Urbanicity3
Urban 7.2 4.2 2.2 0.9 0.6* 0.8 1.2
Suburban 6.6 3.1 1.9 1.3 0.8 1.0 0.9
Rural 5.7 2.3 1.5* 1.5* 1.2* 1.4* 1.4
Grade
6th 6.7 3.5 1.9* 1.1*
7th 7.5 3.6 2.0 0.8* 1.1* 1.1* 0.9*
8th 7.4 3.3 1.8* 1.7 1.0* 1.4 1.4*
9th 6.6 3.0 2.0 2.1 0.9* 0.9* 0.8*
10th 6.4 3.9 2.0 1.2* 0.9* 0.7* 0.8*
11th 7.5 3.9 1.9 1.1* 1.4* 2.3
12th 4.1 1.8 1.9 0.6* 0.8*
Type of School
Public 6.6 3.3 1.9 1.2 0.8 1.0 1.1
Private 6.7 3.7 1.9* 1.2*
‡ Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the CV is 50 percent or greater.

* Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.

Note: “At school” means in the school building, on school property, on a school or going to and from school.

1In the SCS questionnaire, students were asked if they were the targets of hate-related words at school. If the students responded that they were called a hate-related word, they were asked to choose the specific characteristics that the hate-related word targeted. Students were allowed to choose more than one characteristic. If a student chose more than one characteristic, he or she is counted once under the “total” category. Therefore, the percent of students who reported being called a hate-related word is less than the sum of all the individual characteristics.

2Other includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, and two or more races.

3Refers to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status of the respondent’s household as defined in 2000 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Categories include “central city of an MSA (Urban),” “in MSA but not in central city (Suburban),” and “not MSA (Rural).”

Source: Robers, S., Zhang, A, Morgan, R., & Musu-Gillette, L. (2015). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2014 (NCES  2015072). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC. Tables 10.1 and 10.2. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2014/.

 

Endnotes


[1] Dinkes, R., Kemp J., Baum, K., & Synder, T.D. (2009). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2009 (NCES 2010-012/NCJ
228478). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Table 10.2. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010012.pdf.

[2]Addington, L.A., Ruddy, S. A., Miller, A. K., and DeVoe, J. F. (2002)Are America’s schools safe? Students speak out: 1999
School crime supplement,
(NCES 2002-331). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002331.pdf

[3]Juvonen, J., Nishina, A., and Graham, S. (2000). Peer harassment, psychological adjustment, and school functioning in early adolescence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 349-359.

[4]Graham, S. and Juvonen, J. (1998). Self-blame and peer victimization in middle school: An attributional analysis. Developmental Psychology, 34, 587-599.

[5]Ibid.

[6]Ibid.

[7]From 2003 onward, students were given the option of identifying themselves as being of more than one race. After that year, non-Hispanic students who identified themselves as being of more than one race (one percent of respondents) were included in the “other” category. Respondents who identified themselves as being of Hispanic origin are classified as Hispanic, regardless of their race.

Suggested Citation:

Child Trends Databank. (2015). Victims of hate speech. Available at: https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=victims-of-hate-speech

Last updated: November 2015

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