Gender Transgressed: Felt Pressure, Gender Typicality, and Mental Health in Transgender vs. Cisgender Adults

Date

2023-04-25

Advisors

Zucker, Nancy

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

180
views
21
downloads

Abstract

Gender stereotypes are pervasive parts of our culture, and they can change the way we feel about ourselves. Previous studies in cisgender children suggest that boys and girls experience different levels of (1) felt pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and (2) gender typicality, or self-perceived similarity to gender groups. Studies also find that high felt pressure to conform to gender stereotypes is associated with worse mental health outcomes. However, there is limited research on how transgender individuals experience felt pressure and gender typicality, and whether these experiences are associated with worse mental health. My study aims to fill this gap by comparing felt pressure and gender typicality in cisgender vs. transgender adults and by investigating how felt pressure correlates with mental health, as measured by self-esteem and psychological distress. Analyses found that, regarding feminine stereotypes, cisgender men felt pressure to avoid behaving in accordance with feminine stereotypes, while cisgender women, transgender men, transgender women, and nonbinary people felt pressure to conform to them. Regarding masculine stereotypes, cis women felt the least pressure to conform to or avoid masculine stereotypes, while all other groups felt pressure to conform to them. Cis men had significantly higher same-gender typicality than cis women and nonbinary people. Trans women and trans men had significantly higher other-gender typicality than cis men and cis women. The negative correlation between feminine felt pressure and self-esteem was moderated by gender. The negative correlation between masculine felt pressure and self-esteem was not moderated by gender. The positive correlation between feminine felt pressure and psychological distress was moderated by gender. The present study finds that transgender men and transgender women do not always experience gender stereotypes similarly to their cisgender counterparts, so previous findings in cisgender people cannot consistently be applied to transgender people. Nonbinary people did not significantly differ from binary groups as a whole in this study, suggesting that more research needs to be conducted on nonbinary experiences of gender stereotypes. The present study also finds that gender moderates the relationship between feminine felt pressure and both indexes of mental health, suggesting implications for identity-specific mental health interventions.

Description

Provenance

Citation

Citation

Sundar, Kiran (2023). Gender Transgressed: Felt Pressure, Gender Typicality, and Mental Health in Transgender vs. Cisgender Adults. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27113.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.