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Critique Essay Nonfiction Social Sciences

Explaining Public Opinion Toward Transgender People, Rights, and Candidates

By Philip Edward Jones et al., 2018

What explains public opinion toward transgender people, rights, and candidates? Drawing on original data from a national tel- ephone survey of US adults, this study explains attitudes regarding (1) the personal characteristics of transgender people; (2) a variety of transgender rights; and (3) transgender candidates for public office, measured through a randomized experiment included in the survey. Results indicate majority support on most policy questions, but more tepid views of transgender people, and solid opposition to supporting a transgender candidate for office. Our analyses reflect and extend previ- ous research on American public opinion. Respondents’ fundamental values (egalitarianism, moral traditionalism, party identity, ideology, and religiosity) and personality characteristics (need for cognitive clo- sure) predict views of transgender people and support for their rights. A significant relationship also emerged between television use and views of transgender people, suggesting that media portrayals may play.

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