Is Utah ‘chronically unsafe’ for women? Why nearly half say yes
University of Utah professor Lisa Diamond set out to quantify social safety and to understand its impact on Utah women.
Lisa Diamond set out to understand and quantify a feeling that many people struggle to describe.
It’s a feeling she became well acquainted with during the pandemic: a low-level sense of unease. It’s not quite full-blown stress. It’s not an emotional response to a direct attack, but more the discomfort of wondering: Am I safe? Do these people care about me? Would they protect me?
“The feeling of being uncertain and unprotected was not the same feeling as stress,” Diamond realized. “It was a different sort of feeling, a kind of deeper form of chronic vigilance, watchfulness and wariness.”
The pandemic brought these feelings out in a lot of people. Diamond, a distinguished professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah, is interested in understanding how marginalized communities experience that sense of unease.