Title: “A Test of the Three-Component Model of Gender-Based Prejudices: Homophobia and Transphobia Are Affected by Raters’ and Targets’ Assigned Sex at Birth,”
Authors: Craig T. Nagoshi, J. Raven Cloud, Louis M. Lindley, Julie L. Nagoshi, and Lucas J. Lothamer
Summary of the article
A research was carried out on 187 female and 107 heterosexual U.S college students to undergraduate students. The research consisted of asking the participants about their approach towards non-heterosexual males and females. Transphobia is the prejudice towards targets who had a different birth sex while they opted for a sex identity other than that. Homophobia refers to prejudice against those people who opt to have sex with people from the same sex. A male homosexual is called gay while a female homosexual is called lesbian. The results of the study indicated that male participants showed prejudice against transgender who were male according to their birth. On the other hand, religious fundamentalist and right wing fundamentalist showed prejudice to both transgender and homosexuals irrespective of any preference for a specific target. Women were found to show prejudice against transgender who were women by birth.
The prejudice of men and women against transgender who previously identified to their groups indicate that both men and women fear that their social role might be at risk. This fear drives them to hate transgender people and hence try to keep a social role model alive. The prejudice of religious fundamental and right wing authoritarians towards any kinds of transgender and homosexuals indicate their fear of the disturbance of the natural order. For religious fundamentals, the divine force or God has specified specific roles and sexual behaviors for both men and women. On the other hand, right wing fundamentals might fear that homosexuality and tendency towards transgenderism might pose a threat to their masculinity and the value of men being superior to women.
Preparing the questions
As per the instructions in the prompt for this mini research project, I prepared a set of questions after reading the article several times. The questions that are provided at the end of this paper are strictly related to the article and I have tried my best to find a relation between what the interviewee had to say and what was mentioned in the article. The names used in the interview are not the real names to protect the identity and privacy of the interviewees. Both identified as cisgender and heterosexual.
Age: 19 years
The interview was scheduled prior to it taking place in the afternoon. Jacob did not identify himself to be religious. He said that he is Agnostic meaning he does not care if there is any god or not. Jacob was certain that there existed a prejudice against homosexual and transgender people. “For sure, people are afraid to change their traditional believes about male and female role, they hate to think out of the box” (Jacob). I think that what he said here is almost the same said in the research paper several times. For example, “Possibly reflecting a fear of any social non-conformity, religious fundamentalism and right wing authoritarianism were positively correlated with homophobia and transphobia” (Nagoshi, Cloud, Lindley, Nagoshi, and Lothamer, page 1). There are also suggestions that men and women might also be afraid of the concepts because of one or other non-conformity to social norms.
Jacob, being a non-religious had strong views about religious fundamentals. “They think they know just anything” (Jacob). Jacob believed that the reason religious fundamentals are homophobic and transphobic is because they believe accepting these realities will shatter their religions and start to reduce the number of the people who believe in their religions. I think that we are again talking about fear here.
I did not want to restrict my interview to religious fundamentalists only. I questioned about Jacob’s view point about who is more homophobic and transphobic, men or women? He said, “men obviously.” Men always think their masculinity is in danger. They are always insecure because they have been controlling the world since it all started.
Jacob was really curious about the impact of homophobia and transphobia on non-heterosexuals. He said that they have just as equal right to life as me and you. Why hate them for who they are. Decisions related to who you identify with should be your own. No one has the right to dislike it or have prejudice against it.
Jacob was indeed unhappy about how people treated homosexuals and transgender people but was hopeful of the future. He said that due to social activism, the world is gradually accepting more accommodating. Due to laws passed in favor of transgender and homosexual people, society will gradually come to terms with it.
Age: 19 years
Basically from India, Prasad is an undergraduate student here in USA. Prasad belongs to a traditional and conservative country just like I do. The only difference is that his country is democratic which is comparatively open to changes than my country. Prasad believed that prejudice did exist in his country against homosexuals and transgender people but things are changing because the supreme court of India has given a historical decision in the recent past about allowing same sex marriages. “You may or may not like it, but it is a law now, they can marry and you have nothing to do with it” (Prasad). He believed that only religious people are homophobic and transphobic because they believe in old scriptures.
Prasad believed that due to traditional thinking, both men and women are against homosexuality and transgender people. Men and women do not want the historical social order to change. Therefore, they think that the roles of both should remain the same and they should stick to same sexual behaviors. When I asked if men showed more resistance? Prasad replied that he did not think so. “In such matter of acceptability, men and women are alike.” (Prasad).
Prasad showed reservations about the behavior of homophobes and transphobes. Prasad said that hate is not an answer to anything. It is not in the favor of the hater nor the person being hated. Homosexuals and transgender are facing discrimination in many countries and it is no way good for their physical nor psychological well-being. This same sentiment is reciprocated in the research paper where it is written, “Prejudice and discrimination against gender nonheteronormative individuals is detrimental to the well-being of these individuals.” (Nagoshi, Cloud, Lindley, Nagoshi, and Lothamer, page 7). There is no doubt in my mind for it be true. I you cannot support others, don’t be against them for no reason at all.
Just like Jacob, Prasad also had good hopes from the future about acceptability towards homosexuals and transgender. He referred to his own country and said that if a country, so traditional and religious like India can legally accept same sex marriage, anyone can. I think that the confidence of both Prasad and Jacob was because of the democratic countries they belonged to. In non-democratic countries, there is still a long way to go in my opinion.
Three sociological terms
Non-heterosexual males and females: The social norm for centuries about who you can have sex is to have it with a member of opposite sex. In the paper, I have discussed several issues related to those people who do not obey this social norm and like to have sex with people from the same sex group as theirs.
Religious fundamentalist: Religious fundamentalism has been one of the driving force to hate transgender and homosexual people. The whole theme of the paper is about people who have prejudice towards transgender and homosexuals.
Masculinity: Masculinity is a concept that is about the traditional role and expectations related what a man is. Men are considered to be strong and dominant over female. This term relates to the paper because one of the reason men are against transgender people is the fear they there could be a threat to masculinity because of men by birth identifying themselves as women.
This mini research project was a really good practice to know my own standing about homosexual and transgender people. I belong to a conservative society where people do not like others to identify themselves ad transgender or homosexual and a strong prejudice exists against them. I must say that an element of violence is present based on this prejudice. This project has informed be about many facts related to why this prejudice might exist and I have come to realize that this prejudice is not the best human behavior that me or anyone else should have. From the interviews, I was able to know how the US society has progressed on these issues and how other societies, conservative societies like mine, can learn from it. It is in the interest of just any society to accept people from any sexual or gender identities. This is the best way forward.
Questions asked during Interview
- Do you think that a prejudice exists towards Homosexual and Transgender? What are the reasons for such kind of prejudice?
- Why are religious people against homosexuality?
- Who are more Homophobic and Transphobic? Male or Female?
- What is the impact of Homophobia and Transphobia on non-heterosexuals?
- Will the society at large ever accept Homosexual and transgender people?