Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The high levels of interpersonal and policy-based discrimination that transgender people face can be understood as a way of responding to transgender threats to gender systems. By understanding gender as a system of meaning and power, I apply System Justification Theory to interpret transprejudice as a form of gender system maintenance that may be influenced by one’s position in the gender system (gender) and general support for the status quo (conservatism). The present studies test whether transprejudice functions as a form of system affirmation/threat rejection. I found that exposure to system threat did not lead to greater transprejudice than a neutral control (Study 1). However, framing transgender people as posing little threat to the gender system led to more positive transgender attitudes and policy support than a neutral control through the effect of reduced threat (Study 2). Transprejudice was also associated with greater conservatism (Studies 1 & 2) and a male identity (Study 2), and the effects of threat increased as conservatism increased (Study 2). These findings could inform prejudice reduction interventions, policy advocacy, and personal choices around how to interact with gender systems.
Mitchell, Linas, "Defending Gender: Transprejudice as Gender System Maintenance" (2022). Dissertations. 4001.
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