The Roles of Gender, Gender Role Norm Beliefs, and Experimental E-Contact in Reducing Transgender Prejudice

Boccanfuso, E. (University of Sydney), White, F. (University of Sydney)

Transgender people experience significant discrimination marked by higher rates of harassment, violence, mental health problems, and suicide, compared to the cisgender population. To attempt to reduce this prejudice, the current study investigated the roles of experimental Electronic (E)-Contact, gender, and gender role norm endorsement. Cisgender, heterosexual first-year psychology undergraduates (n = 77) and community members (n = 37) completed a half-hour online experiment, being randomly allocated to one of two E-contact conditions: a text discussion with a transgender (experimental) or cisgender (control) virtual confederate. Participants also completed a series of scales measuring male role norm endorsement (MRNE), prior transgender contact, and positive and negative behavioural intentions and views (BIVs) towards transgender people. Participants who had E-Contact with a transgender virtual confederate reported significantly more positive BIVs towards transgender people than those who did not, significantly more so for male participants. A hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that MRNE was the strongest predictor of BIVs – controlling for participant gender, quality of prior contact, and religiosity. Together, these important findings indicate the importance of targeting specific populations, such as cisgender, heterosexual men, and the inclusion of content which challenges gender norms, when developing effective transgender prejudice reduction interventions.

Event Timeslots (1)

Gender and Sexual (Non-)Equalities Symposium