Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Degree

Master of Science in Counseling

Department

Counseling, Leadership and Special Education

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Cornelius-White

Keywords

transgender, attitude, evangelical, Christian, scale, validation

Subject Categories

Counseling

Abstract

In recent years, issues surrounding transgender have gained more media and legal attention than ever before, contributing to rapidly shifting views on gender around the world. In the U.S., views of evangelical Christians on social issues are of particular interest because of the ways in which Christian thought has impacted the setting of various norms in this nation. Yet, to date, there are no known studies that have explored evangelical Christians' attitudes toward transgender persons. To address the shortcomings in the existing literature, the first phase of this study developed and validated a contextually relevant scale. A multi-phase creation and validation process, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted with a diverse sample (n=533). The resulting scale is a three-factor 29-item measure, tapping into interpersonal comfort, gender belief, and human value. Using the validated scale, the second phase of the study explored evangelical Christians' beliefs and attitudes toward transgender persons in reference to a nonreligious group (n=438). Data were analyzed using Two-way ANOVAs, item analyses, independent sample t-tests, and Pearson's correlations. Findings indicated that evangelical Christians showed significantly lower attitude scores and a more dichotomous/fixed view of gender compared to their nonreligious counterparts. At the same time, evangelical Christians had high ratings on the human value factor overall, which was, in turn, less correlated with the other factors - interpersonal comfort and gender beliefs—than for their secular reference group. The two studies together provide a starting point for future research on attitudes toward transgender.

Copyright

© Yasuko Kanamori

Open Access

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Counseling Commons

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