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Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Keywords

Transgender people--Public opinion;

Abstract

Transgender individuals experience prejudice (Elischberger et al., 2016; Norton & Herek, 2013) and have a much higher suicide rate (41%) than the national average, possibly due to this prejudice and discrimination (Haas, Rodgers, & Herman, 2014). Little research, however, has examined factors that may relate to greater levels of prejudice toward this group. The degree and expression of prejudice toward many types of targets differs by political orientation (Nail, Harton, & Decker, 2003), and empathy decreases prejudice toward some targets (Batson, Polycarpou, Harmon-Jones, Mitchener, Bednar, & Highberger, 1997). We hypothesized that conservatives would express more negative attitudes towards transgender individuals than liberals and that induced empathy would decrease negative attitudes towards transgender individuals. Finally, we also hypothesized that attitudes toward transgender men would be more positive than toward transgender women.

256 participants from an online crowdsourcing platform read one of four vignettes: a personal story of a transgender male or female, a definition of “transgender,” or a control story. Participants completed an empathy manipulation check and measures of their political attitudes, political orientation, religiosity, empathy, attitudes toward the transgender population, and demographics.

Reading the personal stories of a transgender male or female did not induce empathy, but people who self-reported more dispositional empathy reported more positive attitudes toward transgender individuals. Participants who reported higher religiosity, conservatism, and right-wing authoritarianism and who believed that transgenderism is a choice reported more negative attitudes toward transgender individuals. Educational programs to help people understand that being transgender is biologically influenced may help reduce prejudice.

Start Date

4-4-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2017 1:30 PM

Faculty Advisor

Helen Harton

Department

Department of Psychology

Comments

Location: Maucker Union Ballroom

File Format

application/pdf

Embargo Date

4-4-2017

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Apr 4th, 11:00 AM Apr 4th, 1:30 PM

Predictors of Attitudes toward Transgender Men and Women

Transgender individuals experience prejudice (Elischberger et al., 2016; Norton & Herek, 2013) and have a much higher suicide rate (41%) than the national average, possibly due to this prejudice and discrimination (Haas, Rodgers, & Herman, 2014). Little research, however, has examined factors that may relate to greater levels of prejudice toward this group. The degree and expression of prejudice toward many types of targets differs by political orientation (Nail, Harton, & Decker, 2003), and empathy decreases prejudice toward some targets (Batson, Polycarpou, Harmon-Jones, Mitchener, Bednar, & Highberger, 1997). We hypothesized that conservatives would express more negative attitudes towards transgender individuals than liberals and that induced empathy would decrease negative attitudes towards transgender individuals. Finally, we also hypothesized that attitudes toward transgender men would be more positive than toward transgender women.

256 participants from an online crowdsourcing platform read one of four vignettes: a personal story of a transgender male or female, a definition of “transgender,” or a control story. Participants completed an empathy manipulation check and measures of their political attitudes, political orientation, religiosity, empathy, attitudes toward the transgender population, and demographics.

Reading the personal stories of a transgender male or female did not induce empathy, but people who self-reported more dispositional empathy reported more positive attitudes toward transgender individuals. Participants who reported higher religiosity, conservatism, and right-wing authoritarianism and who believed that transgenderism is a choice reported more negative attitudes toward transgender individuals. Educational programs to help people understand that being transgender is biologically influenced may help reduce prejudice.