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Transphobia in Today's Society: Implicit Attitudes and Personal Beliefs

Research presented March 4, 2016 at the Eastern Psychological Association conference In New York City. Research indicates that implicit attitudes of transphobia currently match explicit attitudes, possibly due to low social desirability. Predictors for transphobia are adherence to traditional gender roles, right wing authoritarianism, social dominance, and the belief that gender identity is a choice

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Transphobia in Today's Society: Implicit Attitudes and Personal Beliefs

  1. 1. RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012 www.PosterPresentations.com Little research has explored negative attitudes toward those who identify as transgender (i.e., transphobia). Factors that relate to social norms and personal beliefs are strong predictors of negative explicit attitudes toward people who are transgender. The current study explored whether attitudes toward traditional gender roles, conventional social expectations, and personal beliefs predict implicit attitudes toward people who are transgender as well. ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Eighty-five psychology 101 students completed a paper and pencil survey and a computer-based IAT (see below). The order of presentation of the survey and computer task was counterbalanced. Following completion of the study, participants were given a debriefing form. Measures • Attitudes • Implicit Attitudes were measured using a transgender version of the Implicit Associations Test (IAT). It was administered using procedures outlined by Greenwald and colleagues (Greenwald et al. 1998). In the current study, associations were made between a gender dimension (i.e., transgender male vs. cisgender male) and an evaluative dimension (i.e., positive vs. negative). The stimuli used in the current study were 10 adjectives that were positive in valence (e.g., wonderful), 10 adjectives that were negative in valence (e.g., terrible), 10 photographic images of men dressed in feminine make-up and clothing (i.e., transgender), and 10 photographic images of men dressed in traditional masculine clothing (i.e., cisgender). Reaction times were calculated using the scoring algorithm outlined by Greenwald and colleagues (2003). Greater positive values reflect more negative implicit attitudes toward people who are transgender (M = 0.4, SD = 0.4). • Explicit Attitudes were measured by the Transphobia Scale (Nagoshi et al., 2008; α = .88; 9 items; 7-point scale; e.g., I don’t like it when someone is flirting with me and I can’t tell if they are a man or a woman). Items were averaged such that greater positive values reflected greater transphobia (M = 3.2, SD = 1.2). • Predictors • Right-Wing Authoritarianism was measured by a modified version of the Zakrisson Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale (Zakrisson, 2005; α = .74; 15 items, 7-point scale; e.g., Our country needs a powerful leader, in order to prevent those who are immoral from gaining political leverage). Items were averaged such that greater positive values reflected greater adherence to the Right-Wing Authoritarian personality factor (M = 3.4, SD = 0.6). • Social Dominance Orientation was measured by a modified version of the Pratto SDO Scale (Pratto et al, 2009; α = .87; 14 items; 7-point scale; e.g., Some groups of people are simply not the equals of others). Items were averaged such that greater positive values reflected greater Social Dominance Orientation beliefs (M = 2.6, SD = 0.9). • Traditional Gender Norms were measured by the Gender Roles Belief Scale (Kerr & Holden, 1996; α = .85; 19 items; 7-point scale; e.g., The initiative in courtship should usually come from the man). Items were averaged such that greater positive values reflected greater belief in traditional gender norms (M = 3.1, SD = 0.7). • Views on Choice was measured by two items (7-point scale) developed for the current study (r = .50, p < .01, e.g., Being transgender, born in the body of one sex but identifying as another, is an innate phenomenon based on biological factors). Items were averaged such that greater positive values reflected greater belief in choice as a factor (M = 3.2, SD = 1.5). METHOD • A series of bivariate correlations were conducted to explore the relationship between the explicit and implicit attitudes toward people who are transgender and the predictor variables. • A positive correlation was found between explicit attitudes toward people who are transgender and implicit attitudes (r=.48, p<.01), such that as explicit attitudes became more negative, implicit attitudes became more negative as well. RESULTS DISCUSSION • The current study replicates and extends previous work conducted by Legregni et al. (2013). Specifically, these data demonstrate that factors that predict explicit negative attitudes toward people who are transgender (transphobia) predict implicit negative attitudes as well. The current research adds to previous research exploring factors that perpetuate negative attitudes toward people who are transgender (Norton & Herek, 2013; Tebbe & Moradi, 2012). • Future research should explore whether these social expectations are rooted in religious and political values. In addition, future research should explore whether the relationship demonstrated in this research is moderated by gender of the participant (Carroll, Güss, Hutchinson, & Gauler, 2012) or of the target (Worthen, 2013). • These data suggest that negative implicit feelings toward those who are transgender may be rooted in the fact that they violate established social expectations and roles. By understanding this, we can develop methods to reduce and erase transphobia from society. REFERENCES Brewster, M. E., Velez, B. L., Mennicke, A., & Tebbe, E. (2014). Voices from beyond: A thematic content analysis of transgender employees’ workplace experiences. Psychology Of Sexual Orientation And Gender Diversity, 1(2), 159-169. Carroll, L., Güss, D., Hutchinson, K. S., & Gauler, A. A. (2012). How do U.S. students perceive trans persons?. Sex Roles, 67(9-10), 516-527. Fazio, R. H. (1990). Multiple processes by which attitudes guide behavior: The MODE model as an integrative framework. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 23, pp. 75-109). New York: Academic Press. Fazio, R. H., & Olson, M. A. (2003). Implicit measures in social cognition research: Theirmeaning and use. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 297-327. Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The Implicit Association Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464-1480. Greenwald, A. G., Nosek, B. A., & Banaji, M. R. (2003). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: I. An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 197-216. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.197 Hill, D. B. & Willoughby, B. L. B. (2005). The development and validation of the genderism and transphobia scale. Sex roles, 53, 531-543. Jellison, W. A., McConnell, A. R., & Gabriel, S. (2004). Implicit and explicit measures of sexual orientation attitudes: Ingroup preferences and related behaviors and beliefs among gay and straight men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 629-642. Kerr, P. S. & Holden, R. R. (1996). Development of the Gender Role Beliefs Scale. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 11, 3-16. Legregni, M., Frier, A., & Jellison, W.A. (2013). Transphobia in today’s society: An analysis of personal beliefs. Presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association. Nagoshi, J. L., Adams, K. A., Terrell, H. K., Hill, E. D., Brzuzy, S., & Nagoshi, C. T. (2008). Gender Differences in Correlates of Homophobia and Transphobia. Sex Roles, 59, 521-531. Norton, A. T., & Herek, G. M. (2013). Heterosexuals' attitudes toward transgender people: Findings from a national probability sample of U.S. adults. Sex Roles, 68(11- 12), 738-753. Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L. M., & Malle, B. F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 741-763. Tebbe, E. N., & Moradi, B. (2012). Anti-Transgender prejudice: A structural equation model of associated constructs. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 251-261. Worthen, M. F. (2013). An argument for separate analyses of attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual men, bisexual women, MtF and FtM transgender individuals. Sex Roles, 68(11-12), 703-723. Zakrisson, I. (2005). Construction of a short version of the right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) scale. Personality And Individual Differences, 39, 863-872. • The term transgender is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of individuals who do not conform to traditional gender roles. The prejudice that those who are considered transgender face is called transphobia and is similar to homophobia (Hill & Willoughby, 2008). Transgender individuals often experience discrimination and harassment (e.g., Brewster, Velez, Mennicke, & Tebbe, 2014). • Previous research (Legregni, Frier, & Jellison, 2013) explored factors that have been shown to relate to prejudice to determine whether these factors also predict transphobia. These factors were: • Right-Wing Authoritarianism: A personality factor that includes conventionalism, authoritarian submission, and authoritarian aggression. • Social Dominance Orientation: The belief that one’s peers or in-group is superior to other out-groups. • Traditional Gender Roles: The traits and characteristics that society associates with each sex. • Gender Identity Choice: Views on whether or not an individual believes that being transgender is either a choice by the individual or innate. • This previous study suggested that negative feelings toward those who are transgender may be rooted in the fact that they violate established social expectations and roles. • The current study explored whether these factors also predict implicit attitudes toward people who are transgender. • Implicit attitudes are automatic evaluations or associations in memory that may influence our behavior outside of our awareness (Fazio & Olsen, 2003), compared to explicit attitudes which are under conscious control (Fazio, 1990). • In situations of low social desirability, implicit and explicit attitudes should be similar (Jellison, McConnell, & Gabriel, 2004). • Therefore, we hypothesized that the relationship between social factors and implicit transgender attitudes should be similar to the relationship with explicit transgender attitudes. William A. Jellison, PhD, Stephanie Azzarello, Stephany Vargas, and Siobhan Couto Quinnipiac University Transphobia in Today’s Society: Implicit Attitudes and Personal Beliefs

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  • Godschild24

    Jun. 21, 2016

Research presented March 4, 2016 at the Eastern Psychological Association conference In New York City. Research indicates that implicit attitudes of transphobia currently match explicit attitudes, possibly due to low social desirability. Predictors for transphobia are adherence to traditional gender roles, right wing authoritarianism, social dominance, and the belief that gender identity is a choice

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