|‘‘Queering Criminology’’ : overview of the State of the Field
|Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice
This chapter provides an overview of the treatment of sexual orientation and gender identity issues and LGBTQ populations in the field of criminology. The chapter advances three main points. First, it argues that there is very little data on LGBTQ people’s experiences of crime, both in terms of victimization and offending. Second, the overwhelming majority of criminological engagement with sexual orientation and gender identity occurred prior to the 1980s, and discussed these concepts insofar as assessing whether “homosexuality”—a term that was often employed to describe non-heterosexual sexualities and gender non-conforming identities/expressions—was or was not a form of criminal sexual deviance. Third, to date, there is little to no theoretical engagement with sexual orientation and gender identity in each of the four major schools of criminological thought: biological, psychological, sociological, and critical. I argue that these three points are a reflection of the historical and continuing stigma of the sexual deviance framework on the treatment of sexual orientation and gender identity concepts, and LGBTQ people in the field. This chapter makes a call to “queer criminology,” which in my view, requires overcoming the sexual deviance framework and reorienting criminological inquiry to give due consideration to sexual orientation and gender identity as non-deviant differences that may shape people’s experiences of crime and experiences in the criminal justice system more generally.
‘‘Queering Criminology’’ : overview of the State of the Field