Category: Lynn Verduzco-Baker (Faculty Co-author)

Jessica Glazier, ’15

Elischberger, H. B., Glazier, J. J., Hill, E. D., & Verduzco-Baker, L. (2017). Attitudes Toward and Beliefs about Transgender Youth: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between the United States and India. Sex Roles, 76, 1-19.

Abstract: Using an internet-based survey, we examined attitudes toward transgender youth in the United States and India, two cultures with differences in conceptualizations of gender and treatment of transgender individuals in society, law, and religion. We found generally positive attitudes toward transgender youth in our U.S. (n = 218), but moderately negative ones in our Indian (n = 217), sample. Consistent with the literature on prejudice against transgender adults in many Western societies, general social conservatism in the form of religious beliefs and political ideology, gender-specific conservatism in the form of gender binary belief, and endorsement of environmental rather than biological causes of transgender identity were the best predictors of U.S. participants’ attitudes, although personal contact with gender and sexual minorities also played a role at the bivariate level. These findings suggest that the processes underlying prejudice against transgender youth are similar to those that foster adult-directed transphobia in that cultural context. In contrast, religion-based disapproval and environmental causal attributions were the best predictors of Indian respondents’ attitudes, whereas gender binary belief played only a minor role, and political conservatism and personal contact no role at all. Our regression analyses accounted for considerably more of the variability in U.S. than in Indian participants’ attitudes, highlighting the need for additional (qualitative) work to identify the factors that promote transprejudice in India. We discuss these findings in light of cross-cultural differences between the two countries in terms of our predictors and consider implications for efforts to reduce prejudice against transgender youth.

Jessica Glazier, ’15

Elischberger, H. B., Glazier, J. J., Hill, E. D., & Verduzco-Baker, L. (2016). “Boys Don’t Cry”—or Do They? Adult Attitudes Toward and Beliefs About Transgender Youth. Sex Roles, 1-18.

Abstract: The present survey study examined the attitudes of U.S. adults toward transgender children and adolescents, as well as their behavioral intentions, in two hypothetical scenarios involving gender variant youth. Participants recruited online (N = 281) reported generally favorable attitudes toward transgender minors, but expressed some hesitation to allow a transgender child to use the restroom aligned with their gender as opposed to their birth sex or to share a room with same gender peers on a school trip, possibly due to conflating gender identity with sexual orientation in these situations. Attitudes were less positive in respondents who reported a religious affiliation, conservative social political views, and stronger conformity to certain traditional gender norms—particularly in men. Even after controlling for these factors, stronger belief in environmental versus biological causes of transgender identity was linked to more negative attitudes. Participants’ behavioral intentions were driven partly by their attitudes and causal attributions, but also by their age and, at least for women, personal connections to the transgender community. We discuss implications for the discourse surrounding transgender youth and the need for educating the public on the development of gender identity as well as the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

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