Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Bichler, Gisela

Second Advisor

Sechrest, Dale

Third Advisor

Levin, Brian


The purpose of this study was to examine hate crimes based on their gender identity or sexual orientation of the victim through selected variables. The research looked at information collected from a variety of media sources, categorized the information into the existing dataset, and used a chi-square test to prove the significance. The sample analyzed contains 121 cases of individuals that were killed because of their real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation within a twenty year time frame; Mathew Shepard, a highly publicized hate crime victim, was used as the focal point of this research.