Gender Differences in Cisgender Psychologists’ and Trainees’ Attitudes Toward Transgender People

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Abstract

Research that has explored the attitudes of cisgender people toward transgender people has identified gender differences, with cisgender men commonly reporting more negative attitudes than cisgender women. However, little research has explored whether such differences exist among mental health professionals. This brief report outlines findings from 3 studies focusing on attitudes toward transgender people among 3 samples of Australian cisgender psychologists or psychology trainees. The first explored attitudes toward transgender people among psychology undergraduates in an Australian university. The second 2 explored attitudes toward transgender people among Australian mental health-care professionals (with the specific focus of this brief report being upon participants in each study who were psychologists). The findings from each study suggest that cisgender men reported more negative attitudes than did cisgender women. This brief report concludes by considering the broader context that potentially shapes cisgender men’s attitudes and advocates for further research that examines the impact of gender ideology upon attitudes and awareness raising so as to improve service outcomes for transgender people.

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