SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Korea Bizwire) – A study by the Sookmyung Women’s University Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation revealed that 94.6 percent of sexual minorities have come across discriminatory expressions on online communities.
The study was the first of its kind in South Korea related to hate speech, and was based on an online survey last year of 1,014 men, women, sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, and immigrants residing in Korea.
Following LGBTs were women, 83.7 percent of whom said they experienced hate speech on the internet, the disabled (79.5 percent), and immigrants (42.1 percent).
Circumstances didn’t differ much offline, with 87.5 percent of LGBTs saying they experienced hate speech, followed by those with disabilities (73.5 percent), women (70.2 percent), and immigrants (51.6 percent).
When asked whether they feared criticism because of their identity, 84.7 percent of LGBTs said either “somewhat agree,” or “strongly agree.” The rates were 70.5 percent for the disabled, 63.9 percent for women, and 52.3 percent for immigrants.
Worse, 92.6 percent of LGBTs said they feared potential crime because of their orientation, with 87.1 percent of women, 81 percent of the disabled, and 44.4 percent of immigrants also responding as such – indicating that minorities, or the socially disadvantaged, are more fearful of hate crime than the social stigma itself.
Among discriminative expressions that respondents most frequently came across were “kimchi-nyeo,” an insult used to refer to Korean women; “perverts” and “homos” for LGBTs; describing those with disabilities as “gross” or “stinky”; and criticizing immigrants as “terrorists” or for “taking away jobs.”
Releasing the results Sunday, the National Human Rights Commission said that minorities exposed to hate speech often struggle with depression and fear, and are frequently isolated from daily activities. Suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, and PTSD were also common in victims, officials said.
Of the survey participants, 58.8 percent of the disabled, 56 percent of immigrants, and 49.3 percent of LGBTs said they suffered mental difficulties, including stress and depression, after confronting hate speech.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)