Attitudes toward Transgender Rights: Perceived Knowledge and Secondary Interpersonal Contact

By Andrew R. Flores
June 2015

This study examines public attitudes about transgender rights in the USA. It finds that as respondents report being more informed about transgender people they tend to have more supportive attitudes. Interpersonal contact with someone who is lesbian or gay also leads to a secondary transfer of positive attitudes. About half of the secondary transfer effect operates through a mechanism of attitude generalization: contact positively affects the opinions people have on gay rights that then broaden to affect attitudes on transgender rights. Demographic characteristics also indicate that predictors of transgender attitudes are similar to previous studies regarding attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Further survey efforts need to consider inquiring about transgender rights and attitudes, as this remains a research gap in need of scholarly understanding.

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