I am very excited to announce that I will be presenting my thesis research in a regular session at the 2013 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body Interdisciplinary Conference. Here is what I am presenting:
The Psychological Effects of Demographic Gender Representation
Del Rapier, MA and Shawn Davis, PhD
This presentation explores the psychological ramifications for transgender (trans*) individuals when asked to fill out a form requiring them to self-select as either male or female. How do these limitations shape the affect of the trans* client and, therefore, the resulting relationship with the provider?
Study results overwhelmingly endorse significant adverse psychological ramifications for trans* individuals when asked to fill out a form requiring them to self-select as either male or female. Respondents indicated that when presented with these limitations they have often add additional information on the form to help clarify their gender and over half of respondents indicated having chosen not to provide gender information at all when asked. The results of questions specific to feelings of safety, anxiety and depression show a predominance of adverse psychological effects associated with having to disclose ones gender.
Disclosure of gender not only affects psychological health, but the very relationship trans* individuals have with providers. When trans* individuals do disclose their gender to a provider, they are often faced with bias, discrimination, and ignorance. Almost two-thirds of respondents indicated that disclosing their gender has lead to an awkward or uncomfortable conversation with the provider. Over half indicated the provider did not respect their gender after disclosing. An overwhelming 60.8% of respondents indicated an expectation to educate the provider after disclosure.
· Detail the psychological ramifications for trans* clients/patients of intake forms that limit demographic gender representation too only male or female
· Recommend alternative methods for collecting demographic gender information in a manner supported by trans* participants
· Learn ways in which providers can be better advocates for their trans* clients/patients.