Hating and Mating: Fears over Mate Competition and Violent Hate Crime against Refugees

As the number of refugees rises across the world, anti-refugee violence has become a pressing concern. What explains the incidence and support of such hate crime? This paper argues that fears among native men that refugees pose a threat in the competition for female partners is a critical but understudied factor driving hate crime.

Employing a comprehensive dataset on the incidence of hate crime across Germany, the international team of researchers first demonstrate that hate crime rises where men face disadvantages in local mating markets. Next, they deploy an original four-wave panel survey to confirm that support for hate crime increases when men fear that the inflow of refugees makes it more difficult to find female partners.

Mate competition concerns remain a robust predictor even when controlling for anti-refugee views, perceived job competition, general frustration, and aggressiveness. They conclude that a more complete understanding of hate crime must incorporate mating markets and mate competition.

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