Building a Pantheoretical Model of Dehumanization With Transgender Men: Integrating Objectification and Minority Stress Theories

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With a national sample of 304 transgender men, the present study tested a pantheoretical model of dehumanization (Moradi, 2013) with hypotheses derived from objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), minority stress theory (Meyer, 2003), and prior research regarding men’s body image concerns. Specifically, we tested common objectification theory constructs (internalization of sociocultural standards of attractiveness [SSA], body surveillance, body satisfaction) as direct and indirect predictors of compulsive exercise. We also examined the roles of transgender-specific minority stress variables—antitransgender discrimination and transgender identity congruence—in the model. Results of a latent variable structural equation model yielded mixed support for the posited relations. The direct and indirect interrelations of internalization of SSA, body surveillance, and body satisfaction were consistent with prior objectification theory research, but only internalization of SSA yielded a significant direct relation with compulsive exercise. In addition, neither internalization of SSA nor body surveillance yielded significant indirect relations with compulsive exercise. However, antitransgender discrimination yielded predicted indirect relations with body surveillance, body satisfaction, and compulsive exercise, with transgender congruence playing a key mediating role in most of these relations. The implications of this pantheoretical model for research and practice with transgender men are discussed.

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