Reducing Stigma Toward the Transgender Community: An Evaluation of a Humanizing and Perspective-Taking Intervention

Project Description/Abstract:

This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a humanizing approach that incorporates video-based contact and perspective-taking in reducing stigma toward transgendered (TG) individuals.  One hundred (53 females, 45 males, 1 trangender, 1 gender-queer) undergraduates were randomly assigned into one of two groups.  Those in the humanizing condition viewed a documentary and engaged in a perspective-taking writing assignment.  Those in the diagnosis-centered, education-only condition were presented with diagnostic criteria for Gender Identity Disorder (GID), viewed a brief video-taped interview of an expert psychologist describing GID, and engaged in a brief writing task.  Both groups provided basic demographic information and completed measures of religiosity (Religious Orientation Scale), transprejudice (Genderism and Transphobia Scale - GTS) and social distance (Social Distance Scale - SDS) at pre-test and the GTS and SDS a second time following the intervention.  Participants in the humanizing condition evidenced less transprejudice and a greater desire for social contact following the intervention, whereas those in the education-only condition showed no significant change in desired social distance but increased transprejudice across time.  Although religiosity, prior contact and gender were associated with transprejudice and social distance in expected ways, none of these factors moderated intervention effects.  Implications of these findings for future work on changing attitudes toward the TG community are discussed. 

For more information see conference handouts.  The manuscript has been submitted for publication.