Using data from a national probability sample of heterosexual U.S. adults (N02,281), the present study describes the distribution and correlates of men’s and wom- en’s attitudes toward transgender people. Feeling thermom- eter ratings of transgender people were strongly correlated with attitudes toward gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, but were significantly less favorable. Attitudes toward transgen- der people were more negative among heterosexual men than women. Negative attitudes were associated with en- dorsement of a binary conception of gender; higher levels of psychological authoritarianism, political conservatism, and anti-egalitarianism, and (for women) religiosity; and lack of personal contact with sexual minorities. In regression anal- ysis, sexual prejudice accounted for much of the variance in transgender attitudes, but respondent gender, educational level, authoritarianism, anti-egalitarianism, and (for women) religiosity remained significant predictors with sexual prejudice statistically controlled. Implications and directions for future research on attitudes toward transgender people are discussed.
By Aaron T. Norton and Gregory M. Herek, 2013