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The motivated cognitive basis of transphobia: The role of right-wing ideologies and gender role beliefs

Makwana, Arti, Dhont, Kristof, De keersmaecker, Jonas, Akhlagi-Ghaffarokh, Parisa, Masure, Marine, Roets, Arne (2018) The motivated cognitive basis of transphobia: The role of right-wing ideologies and gender role beliefs. Sex Roles, 79 . pp. 206-217. ISSN 0360-0025. E-ISSN 1573-2762. (doi:10.1007/s11199-017-0860-x) (KAR id:64557)

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Transgender individuals challenge the traditional assumption that an individual’s gender identity is permanently determined by their assigned sex at birth. Perceiving ambiguity surrounding indeterminate gender identities associated with transgender individuals may be especially disturbing for those who generally dislike ambiguity and have preference for order and predictability, that is, for people scoring higher on Need for Closure (NFC). We tested the associations between NFC and transphobia in two studies using community samples from the United Kingdom (n = 231) and Belgium (n = 175), and we examined whether right-wing ideological attitudes and traditional gender role beliefs mediated these relationships. Confirming our expectations, we found that NFC was significantly associated with transphobia through both stronger adherence to social conventions and obedience to authorities (i.e., right-wing authoritarianism) and stronger endorsements of traditional gender roles in the UK and Belgium, as well as through stronger preferences for hierarchy and social inequality (i.e., social dominance orientation) in the UK. Our results suggest that transgender individuals are more likely to be targets of prejudice by those higher in NFC at least partly due to the strong preference for preserving societal traditions and the resistance to a perceived disruption of traditional gender norms. Hence, attempts to reduce transphobia might be especially challenging among those high in NFC. Nevertheless, prejudice-reducing interventions could incorporate techniques that satisfy epistemic needs for predictability, certainty, and simple structure which may have higher chances of success among high NFC individuals.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11199-017-0860-x
Uncontrolled keywords: Transgender (attitudes toward), Transphobia, Need for closure, Ideology, Right-wing attitudes, Gender roles
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Kristof Dhont
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 09:20 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 11:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Dhont, Kristof:
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