Monday, June 26, 2017

Knowing The Biologic Causes Of Gender Dysphoria Changes Minds

There are many research papers on the biological causes for sexual orientation and gender identity and a study looked at how understanding the causes of sexual orientation and gender identity have a bases in biology.
Transgender Prejudice And The Belief In A Biological Basis For Gender
By Tania Lombrozo
June 26, 2017

In the new study, forthcoming in the journal Sex Roles, researchers Boby Ho-Hong Ching and Jason Teng Xu presented 132 university students in Hong Kong with one of three articles to read. One article was intended to reinforce the idea that gender differences have a biological basis, one was intended to question this view, and a third was entirely unrelated to gender differences and served as a baseline comparison.
After reading one of the three articles and completing an unrelated task, participants then responded to various questions designed to evaluate their stereotypes about transgender individuals, as well as their attitudes towards them. For example, they indicated how much they agreed with statements including, "transgenderism endangers the institution of the family," and "I would feel comfortable if I learned that my neighbor was a transgendered individual." A final set of questions concerned civil rights, with items such as: "Post-operative transsexuals in Hong Kong should have the right to get married in their new sex," and "Transgender people in Hong Kong should have the right to change their birth certificates."

The researchers found that those participants who had read the article endorsing a biological basis for gender differences were significantly more likely than participants who read either of the other articles to report negative stereotypes about transgender individuals, to report prejudicial attitudes, and to reject equal rights. Responses for participants who read the alternative article or the control article did not differ from each other.
This shows that education is the key, when they learned that research studies showed that there is biological factors at play people became more accepting of us. But somehow I don’t think teaching this in schools will happen.

Especially since most text books are written in Texas because they buy the most text books and we don’t want facts muddling up school children minds.


January Powell said...

Am I missing something here?
"participants who had read the article endorsing a biological basis for gender differences were significantly more likely ... to report negative stereotypes about transgender individuals"

Negative stereotypes are not the outcome I would want or expect from educating people about transgender issues. Maybe it was something about the specific article they were given to read?
I will look for the original research...

January Powell said...

Behind the posts, the article and its supporting material are online. And... still not sure how to interpret their work.

One line of text in the "articles" used in the study might be a key:
‘This difference in the way the nerve connections in the brain are “hardwired” occurs during adolescence when many of the secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair in men and breasts in women develop under the influence of sex hormones,’

Thus, a developmental link between behavioural characteristics and secondary sexual characteristics is strongly implied in the "articles" given to the subjects. That seems much worse than the typical "biological determinist" position, and would be particularly damning for transgender individuals.

It is interesting that both the "biological determinist" paper and the "interactionist" paper state quite plainly that there are clear differences between the personality and behaviour of men and women, such as that women are in general more caring than men, and that women tend to do better than men at intuitive tasks As part of the set-up in the "articles", that seems potentially biasing.