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Comparison of honor killings to anti-LGBTQ homicides

Tri Keah Henry (George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
Brittany E. Hayes (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
Joshua D. Freilich (Criminal Justice Department and Criminal Justice PhD Program, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York, USA)
Steven Chermak (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 9 February 2018

Issue publication date: 1 November 2018




The purpose of this paper is to compare the role honor and shame play in honor killings and anti-LGBTQ homicides by identifying similarities and differences across these two homicide types.


This study uses data from the US Extremist Crime Database (ECDB). Data for each of the incidents included in the ECDB are gathered from various open sources through a multi-stage process. A total of 16 honor killings and 21 anti-LGBTQ cases (i.e. the universe for both groups) are examined in this analysis. A closed-coded analysis technique is utilized to assess each case for evidence of shame and honor as well as an iterative coding process to identify sub-categories within these broader themes.


Results indicate that shame and honor play important roles in both honor killings and anti-LGBTQ homicides, although their influence manifests differently across these two types of homicide. Perceived shame to the family is most closely related to honor killings, while suppressing homosexual urges underlines anti-LGBTQ homicides. Violations of religious tenets, protection of masculinity, and protection of honor are evidenced in both types of homicide.


This study uses a unique database to examine the ideological motivations of individuals who perpetrate extremist crimes in comparison to those who commit honor killings. Findings may inform forensic practices, including rehabilitation and prevention programs.



Henry, T.K., Hayes, B.E., Freilich, J.D. and Chermak, S. (2018), "Comparison of honor killings to anti-LGBTQ homicides", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 272-282.



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