Speaker Series: Stefan Vogler
Limited scholarship examines LGBTQ+ people’s willingness to report crime victimization to law enforcement, even though LGBTQ+ people face disproportionate rates of violent victimization. Relatedly, LGBTQ+ people also report higher levels of contact with the police and are incarcerated at three times the rate of the general population, suggesting that, like other minoritized groups, LGBTQ+ people face the paradox of being “over-policed and under-protected.”
In this context, Stefan Vogler asks what affects LGBTQ+ people’s willingness to report future crime victimization. He draws on a first-of-its-kind national probability sample of both LGBTQ+ (N=803) and non-LGBTQ+ (N=682) people to address these questions. Vogler finds that many drivers of willingness to report are common across the two groups, including legal cynicism, race, and age. At the aggregate level, LGBTQ+ people report significantly lower level of willingness to report than non-LGBTQ+ people. However, when disaggregated, he finds that transgender and nonbinary people drive this finding. Vogler considers what this means for existing understandings of crime reporting behaviors, as well as why findings may differ across the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
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Stefan Vogler is a sociologist who studies sexuality-and gender-related issues in law, science, and health. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an Affiliated Scholar with the American Bar Foundation. Vogler previously was a Research Scientist with NORC at the University of Chicago and held postdoctoral positions at Northwestern University and the University of California, Irvine.
His research is centrally concerned with processes of legal and social classification and their relationship to social inequalities and social change. Vogler has been particularly interested in how practices of measurement and categorization vary across institutional settings and overlap and interlock with gender, sexuality, race, and nationality.
In his first book, Sorting Sexualities, Vogler unpacks the politics of the techno-legal classification of sexuality in the United States. His study focuses specifically on state classification practices around LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the United States and sexual offenders being evaluated for carceral placement – two situations where state actors must determine individuals’ sexualities. Though these legal settings are diametrically opposed—one a punitive assessment, the other a protective one—they present the same question: how do we know someone’s sexuality? Vogler reveals how different legal arenas take dramatically different approaches to classifying sexuality and use those classifications to legitimate different forms of social control. By delving into the histories behind these diverging classification practices and analyzing their contemporary reverberations, Sorting Sexualities shows how the science of sexuality is far more central to state power than we realize.