Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Christopher Scheitle

Committee Co-Chair

Corey Colyer

Committee Member

Katie Corcoran


Fear of victimization is different than actual victimization but has real consequences for individuals’ behaviors and attitudes. Research on fear of victimization in the United States has typically emphasized individuals’ own fears of experiencing violent, sexual, and property crimes. Yet, some studies suggest that fear of crime for other people whose safety one values – significant others, friends, and children – or altruistic fear is more common and often more intense than one’s personal fear of victimization. While some literature exists on the prevalence of altruistic fear in American households, little is known about altruistic fears specifically rooted in the fear of victimization based on a close family member’s or friend’s religious identity. Additionally, some studies suggest that there is a gendered aspect to altruistic fear, where men and women worry and express their fear for loved ones differently. It is likely that these gendered differences manifest in different ways depending on religious tradition. This paper aims to extend the literature on altruistic fear by applying this phenomenon to hate crime victimization, more specifically the fear of victimization based on religious identity.