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JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH, 51(6), 654–666, 2014

Copyright # The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality


ISSN: 0022-4499 print=1559-8519 online
DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2013.773577

Spanish Adolescents’ Attitudes toward Transpeople: Proposal and Validation


of a Short Form of the Genderism and Transphobia Scale
Marı́a Victoria Carrera-Fernández, Marı́a Lameiras-Fernández, and Yolanda Rodrı́guez-Castro
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Vigo

Pablo Vallejo-Medina
Faculty of Psychology, University of Santo Tomás

The aim of the present study was to develop and validate a short form of the Genderism and
Transphobia Scale and assess adolescents’ attitudes toward transpeople. A total of 800 Spanish
adolescents aged between 14 and 18 years (50.70% girls, 49.30% boys) completed the Spanish
version of the scale and other related questionnaires. The short form of the scale is composed of
12 items clustered into two factors (Transphobia=Genderism and Gender Bashing) that explain
54.22% of the variance. All the items showed good discriminating power, and the present scale
demonstrated adequate reliability and validity. In the study, boys exhibited significantly more
negative attitudes toward transpeople than girls did, both in the affective=cognitive dimension
(Transphobia=Genderism) and in the behavioral dimension (Gender Bashing). Moreover, ado-
lescents showed significantly more negative attitudes toward gender-nonconforming men than
toward gender-nonconforming women. These results are discussed in terms of their relevance
to the maintenance of discriminatory attitudes toward sexual diversity.

In the context of gender studies, research on attitudes In the present study, conducted in the context of
of people has traditionally focused on analyzing sexism research on gender identity, we developed and validated
(Glick et al., 2004; Glick & Fiske, 1996, 2001) and the short version of the Genderism and Transphobia
homophobia (Herek, 1988; Horn, 2007; Lingiardi, Scale (Hill & Willoughby, 2005) and analyzed attitudes
Falanga, & D’Augelli, 2005; Raja & Stokes, 1998; toward transpeople among Spanish adolescents.
Whitley & Kite, 1995). Less attention has been given The article starts with a conceptual introduction to
to studying prejudice against people with trans identi- the term transphobia, followed by a review of the main
ties. Such identities transgress the gender norms that studies conducted on attitudes toward transpeople, with
are consistent with individuals’ biological sex (Factor a special focus on gender-based differences. This is
& Rothblum, 2008) and have been called identidades followed by a description of the main instruments
entrecruzadas (‘‘cross-cutting identities’’) by Burgos used to measure attitudes toward transpeople and
(2007). The trans community, referred to with the term a justification of the relevance of the study.
transpeople in this study, includes transsexuals (i.e.,
those who seek to change their sex to the gender with
Conceptual Introduction to Transphobia
which they identify, using hormone and=or surgical treat-
ment), transgenderists (i.e., those who adapt their body to
More than half a century has elapsed since Simone de
the gender with which they identify with little medical
Beauvoir (1949=1998) denaturalized gender in her
intervention (i.e., hormone therapy) and cross-dressers
famous work The Second Sex, highlighting that it is
(i.e., those who change their gender temporarily using
socially constructed. More recently, the binary concep-
external signs such as clothing or makeup).
tion of sex has also been denaturalized, as pointed out
Studies on attitudes toward transpeople have gener-
by Judith Butler (1990, 1993) and evident by the bodies
ally been conducted with samples of adults and youth
of intersex people (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, 2000). Such
(Gerhardstein & Anderson, 2010; Harvey, 2002; Winter,
individuals cannot be classified exclusively as men or
Webster, & Cheung, 2008) but rarely with adolescents.
women, which proves that the sex of a body is a matter
of degrees rather than a classification into one of
Correspondence should be addressed to Marı́a Victoria Carrera-
Fernández, Universidade de Vigo, Facultade de Ciencias da Educación,
two complementary, closed and mutually exclusive
Campus Universitario de Ourense, sn, 32004 Ourense, Spain. E-mail: categories. However, transgressing the rigid model of
mavicarrera@uvigo.es two sexes=two consistent genders is still severely
ATTITUDES TOWARD TRANSPEOPLE

punished (Denny, Green, & Cole, 2007; Grant et al., However, this supposed acceptance of transpeople may
2011; Lombardi, Wilchins, Priesing, & Malouf, 2002) in fact indicate conformity with the hegemonic model
and pathologized. In fact, gender dysphoria and transves- of two sexes=two genders, according to which the ‘‘male’’
tic fetishism are still considered gender identity disorders ‘‘body mark’’ (i.e., primary and secondary sex traits)
by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the must coincide with a male gender identity and the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ‘‘female’’ ‘‘body mark’’ must match a female gender
4th ed., text revision (DSM-IV-TR; APA, 2000). Homo- identity. This model is perfectly reproduced by trans-
sexuality was also considered a gender identity disorder sexuals, who adapt their body to their gender identity,
by the APA a few decades ago, until it was finally but not by other groups such as transgenderists or trans-
removed from the DSM-IV in 1974 in response to the vestites, who continue to show incongruence between
mobilization and advocacy of gay and lesbian groups. their body and their gender identity. In fact, transsexuality
Transphobia refers to negative beliefs and attitudes reproduces the model of two sexes=two congruent genders
about transpeople, including aversion to and irrational rather than subverting it. In transsexuals, the ‘‘sex-
fear of masculine women, feminine men, transvestites, gender’’ incongruence is only temporary, as they use
transgenderists, or transsexuals (Hill & Willoughby, modern surgical techniques to make their ‘‘body mark’’
2005). According to Hill (2002), hatred of transpeople consistent with their gender identity and therefore become
has three key components: Genderism (the cognitive ‘‘true’’ men and women (Carrera, DePalma, & Lameiras,
component), Transphobia (the attitudinal component) 2012; Butler, 1993; Garaizábal, 1998). Attitudes toward
and Gender-bashing (the behavioral component). the two other groups—transvestites and transgender-
Genderism is a social system of beliefs that reinforces ists—may be significantly more negative, as the sex-gender
the negative evaluation of individuals who do not con- incongruence is more visible in them. Gerhardstein and
form to their gender roles or whose sex is not consistent Anderson (2010) conducted a study in which they showed
with their gender. It is based on a heteronormative photographs of transmen and transwomen to college stu-
social model built on the ideal of sexual dimorphism dents. In the photographs, the facial features of some indi-
(male or female sex). This dichotomy is used to establish viduals were congruent with their gender identity while
a differential gender socialization based on descriptive those of others were not. Participants were provided infor-
and prescriptive gender roles and stereotypes about the mation about the biography of the transpeople, including
characteristics and behavior of ‘‘normal’’ men and their trans identity.
women, who are considered to be heterosexual by As hypothesized, the study showed that transmen and
definition. This system of beliefs has been called transwomen whose facial features were ‘‘incongruent’’
‘‘heteronormative matrix’’ by Judith Butler (1993). with social expectations about their gender identity—
Transphobia, as mentioned, refers to the attitudinal transwomen with ‘‘masculine’’ facial traits and transmen
component, including negative feelings, aversion to with ‘‘feminine’’ facial traits—were rated more
and fear of people who transgress the rigid model of negatively in perceived attractiveness, likeability, and
two sexes=two genders. Gender bashing, the behavioral emotional health.
component, refers to the assault or harassment of trans- An interesting study conducted in Sweden by Landén
people and is closely related to beliefs (genderism) and and Innala (2000) showed a similar situation to that
attitudes. As we shall explain, these three components observed by Harvey (2002): transsexuals were reason-
are the basis of the Genderism and Transphobia Scale ably well accepted as a group, but participants’ accept-
(GTS) developed by Hill and Willoughby (2005), whose ance decreased when they were asked whether
short version is proposed and validated in the present transsexual people should have the right to adopt or
study. Below is a review of the most relevant studies work with children.
on attitudes toward transpeople on an international In a recent study conducted in Spain on the attitudes
level, with a special focus on gender-based differences. of youth toward sexual diversity, researchers surveyed
1,400 individuals aged between 15 and 29 years. Results
Prejudice Against Transpeople showed that 3.5% of participants had transsexual friends
and that more than 70% considered sex-reassignment
Most studies on attitudes toward transpeople have surgery to be acceptable in adults. In addition, 70%
shown that this group is still far from being fully accepted of participants stated they would accept a friend who
by society. In the United States, a study conducted by did not identify with his or her biological sex (Centro
Harvey (2002) with a sample of the general population de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 2011). However, as we
showed that only a minority of participants supported shall see in the next section, this study and others prove
health coverage for sex-reassignment surgery. By con- that such positive attitudes toward transpeople do not
trast, most participants considered both transsexual necessarily lead to positive behaviors.
men and transsexual women positively and stated that Studies have consistently found differences between
they would not mind having a transsexual colleague or the transphobic attitudes of women and men, with
purchasing goods from a transsexual person in a shop. stronger attitudes among men (Hill & Willoughby,

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CARRERA-FERNÁNDEZ, LAMEIRAS-FERNÁNDEZ, RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, AND VALLEJO-MEDINA

2005; Landén & Innala, 2000; Nagoshi et al., 2008; Tee harassment at school and a 90% rate of harassment in
& Hegarty, 2006; Winter, 2006; Winter et al., 2008). The the work environment.
same applies to homophobic attitudes (Horn, 2007; In Asia, for example, the situation of transpeople is
Kimmel & Mahler, 2003; Raja & Stokes, 1998; Whitley even worse than in other regions, because these indivi-
& Kite, 1995). The fact that attitudes toward gender- duals experience discrimination in their family, school,
nonconforming women are more positive than those and work environments (Winter, 2007) and are victims
toward men who ‘‘deviate’’ from gender norms, as of violence perpetrated by the government itself (Human
found by Winter and colleagues (2008), is another paral- Rights Watch, 2006). This situation of rejection and
lelism with studies about homophobia. Such studies violence is even reflected in the language. As highlighted
have found more negative attitudes toward homosexual by Winter and associates (2008), the term used to refer
men than toward lesbians (Kite & Whitley, 1998; to the trans community in Hong Kong is yan yiu, which
Whitley, 1988). This difference may be due to the means ‘‘human monster.’’
influence of gender socialization, which is stricter in In Europe, a study conducted in the United Kingdom
boys (Connell, 2000). This is not surprising in a patri- by Whittle, Turner, and Al-Alami (2007) showed the
archal society characterized by an asymmetric social broad range of problems faced by transpeople in the
desirability that favors masculine traits, values, and work environment. In Spain, a study of adolescents
behaviors (Bonilla & Martı́nez-Benlloch, 2000; Laurentis, using qualitative methodology obtained the following
1987; Valcárcel, 1992). This is shown by the fact that results: verbal abuse—that is, insults such as maricón
women are more willing to attribute themselves ‘‘mascu- (‘‘fag’’), mariquita (‘‘sissy’’), marimacho (‘‘butch’’), or
line’’ traits and are less socially censored for this than bollera (‘‘dyke’’)—and sexual exclusion are among the
men who assume ‘‘feminine’’ traits or qualities (Bonilla most usual manifestations of negative attitudes toward
& Martı́nez-Benlloch, 2000; Valcárcel, 1992). Hence, sexual diversity. The study found that even students
differential gender socialization, based on the existence who defend adolescents who do not conform to their
of two sexes, two genders, and heterosexual orientation, gender roles and siblings of the latter attending the same
seems to be the breeding ground for the development school can be the subject of such abuse or exclusion. To
of discriminatory attitudes toward sexual diversity a lesser extent, nonconforming adolescents are some-
(Atkinson & DePalma, 2009; Carrera et al., 2012; times threatened or physically abused. In the study,
Carrera, Lameiras, DePalma, & Ricoy, 2013). This is participants justified all this by stating that there is
clearly shown in the relationships between attitudes ‘‘something’’ in these groups that makes them stand
toward transpeople and other constructs such as gender out as being different and that it has ‘‘always been this
role beliefs (Hill & Willoughby, 2005), beliefs that sup- way’’ (Romero, Martı́n, & Castañón, 2005).
port the existence of only two sexes and the biological In the aforementioned study conducted by the
nature of gender (Tee & Hegarty, 2006), sexist attitudes Spanish Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (2011),
(Nagoshi et al., 2008) and homophobia (Hill & 80% of participants declared that they had witnessed
Willoughby, 2005; Nagoshi et al., 2008). or been aware of situations of abuse of LGBT (lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender) people and between 0.1%
and 9.6% of them admitted participating in them
Discrimination and Violence Against Transpeople (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 2011).
Along these lines, the Spanish Act that regulates the
Among the few studies conducted on the actual change of individuals’ sex in official documents (Ley
discrimination perceived by the trans community, it is 3=2007, de 15 de marzo, reguladora de la rectificación
worth highlighting the study by Lombardi and collea- registral de la mención relativa al sexo de las personas)
gues (2002) in the United States. This study analyzed is an improvement compared to the previous legislation.
experiences of discrimination among transpeople using It is now possible for transpeople to change their sex
a survey conducted in community centers and over the in official documents without having to undergo sex-
Internet. Results showed that more than half of the reassignment surgery. However, they must be diagnosed
402 respondents had been victimized at some point in with gender dysphoria and adopt the secondary sexual
their lives, experiencing physical or psychological abuse traits of the final gender through hormone therapy—
or workplace discrimination. A decade after the study unless it is impossible for health or age reasons—and
was conducted, there seems to have been little improve- a new name that is not confusing as regards gender
ment, as shown by the results of the National Trans- identity. Thus, despite the progress made, Spanish
gender Discrimination Survey (Grant et al., 2011), the legislation continues to strongly reproduce the con-
broadest survey on discrimination of transpeople carried gruent sex=gender model (Carrera et al., 2013).
out so far. A total of 6,456 transpeople from all 50 The most hostile expression of this discrimination
American states participated in the survey. Results and prejudice, documented internationally, is the murder
showed that transpeople experience widespread discri- of hundreds of transpeople throughout the world, as shown
mination throughout their lives, with a 78% rate of by the latest records of deaths provided by Transgender

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Europe (TGEU) on March 23, 2012, in the framework of More recently, Winter and colleagues (2008) validated
its Trans Murder Monitoring Project. According to such the GTS in Hong Kong on a sample of 203 undergraduate
records, 816 transpeople have been murdered since students aged between 18 and 25 years. The authors added
January 2008 in 55 countries of various continents, and an extra item (Item 33, ‘‘In nature there are two sexes and
80% of these deaths have occurred in Central and South two sexes only’’) to complete the information of Item 4 of
America (TGEU, 2012). Moreover, the report highlights the original instrument (‘‘God made two sexes and two
that the number of murders increased exponentially sexes only’’) because more than half of the population
over recent months and that these figures reflect only of Hong Kong does not identify with any religion.
a fraction of the total number of deaths, since these In addition, three items of the original scale (8, 26,
murders are not recorded systematically in most countries. and 16) were removed because of their low correlations
or because they did not load consistently on any factor.
Measuring Instruments According to the authors, this was due to cultural speci-
ficities that make it difficult for participants to identify
Over the past few years, efforts have been made to with the situations presented. The final factor structure
develop instruments to measure attitudes toward trans- was different from that of the original scale: five factors
people. A few examples are the Transphobic Scale by explained 53.96% of the total variance: (a) Antisissy
Nagoshi and colleagues (2008), validated in Arizona; Prejudice, with nine items referring to negative feelings
the Beliefs about Gender Scale (BGS), specifically toward gender-nonconforming men based on their beha-
designed to measure the belief that there are only two vior, clothing, or general appearance (.80); (b) Antitrans
sexes; and the Beliefs about Transsexuality Scale Violence, with four items referring to violent behaviors
(BTS), which assesses the belief that gender is biological. or acts toward transmen and transwomen (.79); (c)
The latter scales were developed by Tee and Hegarty Trans Unnaturalness, with six items referring to beliefs
(2006) and have been validated in the United Kingdom. about the unnaturalness of gender variations (.78); (d)
The Genderism and Transphobia Scale (GTS), deve- Trans Immorality, with two items referring to trans-
loped and validated in Canada by Hill and Willoughby people and sex change procedures; and (e) Background
(2005), is a comprehensive instrument that has been Genderism, with eight items referring to negative beliefs
validated cross-culturally. One of the advantages of about people who do not conform to their gender roles
this scale is its inclusiveness. It measures the attitudes or show an incongruence between their sex and their
expressed toward transsexuals, transgenderists, and gender identity (a ¼ .79).
transvestites and distinguishes between attitudes toward
transmen and transwomen. Another advantage is the
fact that it assesses the cognitive, affective, and beha- The Present Study
vioral components of such attitudes.
As stated, the GTS analyzes negative attitudes toward As highlighted earlier, sexist and homophobic
transpeople, including transsexuals, transgenderists, attitudes have been much more studied than attitudes
and transvestites. It assesses the cognitive (genderism), toward transpeople. In addition, few studies on trans-
affective (transphobia), and behavioral (gender-bashing) phobia have been conducted with adolescent samples.
components mentioned. This 32-item scale has been vali- This is an important limitation, because it is easier to
dated in three studies, which have shown good internal modify people’s attitudes during adolescence than at
consistency, with Cronbach’s alphas ranging between other stages of their lives (Font, 2005; Garaigordóbil,
.79 and .95 in the three subscales. However, the final 2000). In fact, the few studies on prejudice and
dimensionality of the scale is formed by two factors. discrimination against transpeople conducted with
One factor measures transphobia=genderism and includes adolescents in Spain have shown significantly negative
25 items such as ‘‘Children should play with toys appro- attitudes and behaviors toward sexual diversity
priate to their own sex’’ or ‘‘I would avoid talking to (Romero et al., 2005). It is therefore essential to ana-
a woman if I knew she had surgically created a penis lyze adolescents’ attitudes in greater depth as a first
and testicles’’; a second factor measures gender bashing step to design school interventions that promote more
and includes seven items such as ‘‘I have behaved violently positive attitudes toward transpeople and sexual
toward a woman because she was too masculine’’ that diversity in general.
explain 60% of the variance. The authors highlight that, However, it is a challenge for social sciences to assess
given the high correlations among the three factors, the scale attitudes, which cannot be directly observed. This type of
can also be considered to be one-dimensional. Items 18, 22, phenomenon is most commonly assessed using indirect
28, and 31, initially designed to measure gender bashing, approaches such as scales (Carretero-Dios & Pérez,
load on the factor transphobia=genderism. According 2007). It is therefore essential for such instruments to
to the authors, a possible reason is that these items have certain scientific guarantees of reliability and val-
may measure a generalized negative reaction rather than idity (see, for example, American Educational Research
a tendency to use violence specifically against transpeople. Association, American Psychological Association, &

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CARRERA-FERNÁNDEZ, LAMEIRAS-FERNÁNDEZ, RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, AND VALLEJO-MEDINA

National Council on Measurement in Education, 1999). was conducted. Otherwise, a new school was selected.
Scales that are unstable across different samples and=or All participants were provided vague information about
cultures have negative consequences for the replicability the study to minimize any possible biases: they were told
of the results obtained and make it difficult to assess the that its objective was to learn about relationships among
target construct accurately. Such is the case of the GTS, adolescents and adolescents’ opinions and feelings about
which has been validated in three different studies with various subjects. Among participants, 50.7% were girls
four different factor structures. and 49.3% were boys. The age of participants ranged
Proposing and validating a short version of the GTS from 14 to 18 years, with a mean age of 15.19 years
with a stable factor structure and adequate reliability (SD ¼ 0.92). In all, 53% of participants were attending
and validity indices will contribute to overcoming the their third year of ESO, and 47% were attending their
aforementioned limitations. Moreover, the brevity of fourth year. Of the sample, 75.8% attended public
the instrument will save time and increase the effecti- schools, and 24.3% attended private or state-subsidized
veness of evaluation processes. Short scales are parti- schools.
cularly useful with adolescents, whose attitudes can be
analyzed more effectively in the school context, reducing
Instruments
evaluation time and therefore easing the burden on the
tight schedules of schools. Participants were administered a self-report question-
In this context, the aims of this study were the follow- naire that included sociodemographic variables and
ing: (a) translate the GTS into Spanish, develop a short three scales that analyzed attitudes toward transpeople
version of the questionnaire, and validate it in a sample and homosexuals and sexist attitudes.
of Spanish adolescents attending secondary education; We used the translation of the GTS (Hill &
and (b) analyze participants’ attitudes toward trans- Willoughby, 2005) performed in the present study. The
people as a function of the sex of participants and that scale is composed of 32 items that measure attitudes
of the people they expressed their attitudes about (gender- toward transpeople, including their cognitive, affective,
nonconforming women and gender-nonconforming and behavioral components. It has two subscales:
men). In line with these premises, we expected the follow- Transphobia=Genderism, with 25 items, and Gender
ing specific predictions to be borne out empirically: Bashing, with 7 items (psychometric data are provided
(a) based on the studies reviewed, in other words, those in the introductory section). Responses are given on
conducted by Hill and Willoughby (2005), Nagoshi a Likert scale from 1 to 7 in which lower scores indicate
and colleagues, (2008), Tee and Hegarty (2006), and Win- a higher level of transphobic attitudes.
ter (2006), we expected boys to express significantly more We also used the Spanish adaptation for adolescents
negative attitudes toward transpeople than girls would; (Rodrı́guez, Lameiras, & Carrera, 2009) (using forward
(b) and along the same lines as the results obtained by translation) of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, short
Winter and colleagues (2008), we expected participants form (ASI, short form; Glick & Fiske, 1996), which
to express significantly more negative attitudes toward measures hostile and benevolent sexist attitudes toward
gender-nonconforming men (transwomen) than toward women. It is composed of 12 items organized into two
gender-nonconforming women (transmen). subscales. The Hostile Sexism subscale analyzes atti-
tudes with a negative affective tone that subordinate
women and includes six items (a ¼ .82). The Benevolent
Method
Sexism subscale, which also includes six items, measures
attitudes with a positive affective tone that value tra-
Sample
ditional aspects of femininity (a ¼ .67). Responses are
We selected a representative regional sample of 800 provided on a Likert response scale from 1 to 6 in which
Spanish students in the final two years of compulsory higher scores show higher levels of hostile and benevol-
secondary education during the school year 2008–2009. ent sexism. In the present study, Cronbach’s alphas were
Of these, 200 participants were assessed in each of the .82 for the Hostile Sexism subscale and .73 for the
four provinces of the region of Galicia. The characteris- Benevolent Sexism subscale.
tics of participants were balanced for type of environment Finally, we also administered the Modern Homo-
(i.e., rural, semirural, or urban), population size of place phobia Scale (MHS; Raja & Stokes, 1998; Spanish
or residence, school year, and sex. Inclusion criteria were adaptation for adolescents by Rodrı́guez, Lameiras,
attending compulsory secondary education (ESO), being Carrera, & Vallejo, 2013), which is composed of two
aged 14 to 18 years, knowing how to read and write, and subscales that assess attitudes toward gay men and
having the consent of parents or legal tutors. The study lesbians. This adaptation was obtained using forward
began with a random selection of municipalities for translation. The Attitudes Toward Gay Men subscale
assessment. This was followed by a random selection of (MHS-G) has 22 items (Cronbach’s alpha ¼ .94) and
schools teaching ESO. If a school agreed to participate the Attitudes Toward Lesbians subscale (MHS-L)
in the study without any compensation, the assessment has 24 items (Cronbach’s alpha ¼ .93). Each scale

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ATTITUDES TOWARD TRANSPEOPLE

measures three factors: (a) personal discomfort with likelihood (ML) estimation using AMOS 16.0. The
lesbians (.90)=gay men (.91); (b) deviance=change- following fit indices were used: the root mean square
ability of female homosexuality (.90)=male homosexu- error approximation and its confidence interval
ality (.85); and (c) institutional homophobia toward (RMSEA; Hu & Bentler, 1999), the adjusted goodness-
lesbians (.83)=gay men (.85). Higher scores indicate of-fit index (AFGI), and the comparative fit index
more favorable attitudes toward homosexuals. In (CFI; Bentler, 1990). RMSEA values below .08 (Browne
the present study, Cronbach’s alphas were .92 for & Cudeck, 1993) and AGFI and CFI values above .90
the Attitudes Toward Lesbians subscale and .93 for indicate good fit (Dimitrov, 2006; Hu & Bentler, 1999).
the Attitudes Toward Gay Men subscale. SPSS was used again to obtain the following psycho-
metric properties of the items and subscales: mean,
standard deviation, discrimination index, alpha if item
Procedure
is deleted, and Cronbach’s alpha. Pearson correlations
A cross-sectional design was used to recruit a random were also performed to test the external validity of the
sample. After selecting the 21 schools, a letter was sent scale against the Modern Homophobia Scale (MHS)
to each of them explaining the study and asking for their and the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). Finally,
cooperation. After this, the schools were contacted by independent t-tests were used to assess differences as
telephone to confirm their participation. The question- a function of sex and paired t-tests were used to deter-
naires (including the full version of the GTS) were admi- mine whether antipathy was targeted toward girls or
nistered during school hours in April and May 2009. boys who crossed genders.
Passive informed consent was obtained from the parents
or legal tutors of adolescents under 18 years of age. The
self-reported assessment was individual, anonymous, Results
and voluntary, and was performed by a specially trained
researcher. This section presents the main results of the
To translate the GTS (Hill & Willoughby, 2005) into psychometric validation of the short form of the GTS
Spanish, the first step was the linguistic adaptation of and participants’ attitudes toward transpeople as
the scale through forward translation (Hambleton, a function of the sex of participants and the sex of the
1996). Once the items had been translated into Spanish, people they expressed their attitudes about (transmen
they were handed to a bilingual expert along with the and transwomen).
items in English. The expert suggested several changes, After translating the scale and administering the
which were applied to the scale. This ended the questionnaires, an EFA was performed to determine
translation process. the number of factors of the GTS and the items that
may compromise the dimensionality of the scale.
A KMO ¼.96 and Bartlett’s statistics p < .01 indicated
Data Analysis
that the matrix was fit for performing the analysis.
To date, there seems to be no consensus on the The PA showed the existence of two factors (when
number of factors of the GTS. For this reason, an percentile 95 was considered). As in previous studies,
exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed in this the rotated loading matrix estimated with ML was
study, estimating the number of factors through optimal unclear. Items 8, 26, and 16, which had also caused
implementation of parallel analysis (PA) (Timmerman problems in the Chinese adaptation (Winter et al.,
& Lorenzo-Seva, 2011). This estimator is not only more 2008) were removed, as were items 18, 22, 28, and 31,
accurate than Kaiser’s criterion at determining the which were also ambiguous in the original adaptation
number of factors (Velicer, Eaton, & Fava, 2000), it is (Hill & Willoughby, 2005); finally, items 5, 23, 10, 11,
also the best when ordered polytomously scored 15, 19, and 32 either loaded on a factor that they did
variables are used. All the items that loaded on the not seem to semantically belong to (Lord & Novick,
wrong factor or were ambiguous (i.e., those that loaded 1968) or had similar weights (with a difference less than
on several factors with no clear position) were removed. .30) in both factors and were thus eliminated. Therefore,
These analyses were performed with Software Factor only 18 items out of the 32 initial items were used in the
8.02 (Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando, 2006). Next, SPSS following analysis.
was used to reduce the number of items with a discrimi- After clarifying the dimensionality of the scale and the
nant analysis. According to the results, all the items position of the items, the 18 remaining items underwent
seemed to discriminate well. Therefore, a simple linear a discriminant analysis. The aim was to eliminate any
regression was used to eliminate the items that explained items that were not discriminating correctly between ado-
the least variance. lescents with high and low scores in this prejudice. In the
Next, the dimensionality of the scale was confirmed absence of another external criterion, Mean 1 Standard
through structural equation modeling (SEM) and Deviation was used as a cut point to distinguish between
confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with maximum high and low scores. A canonical correlation result ¼.97

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CARRERA-FERNÁNDEZ, LAMEIRAS-FERNÁNDEZ, RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, AND VALLEJO-MEDINA

Table 1. Fit Indices of the Three Models Tested

Models v2 df P v2/df RMSEA (CI 90%) AGFI CFI

M1: Related two-factor 190.26 53 .00 3.59 .061 (.052–.070) .93 .95
M2: Independent two-factor 654.52 54 .00 12.12 .126 (.118–.135) .84 .81
M3: One-factor 339.98 54 .00 6.29 .087 (.078–.096) .87 .91

and Wilks’ Lambda(19) ¼ 0.05, p < .01 indicated a very After confirming the factor structure of the scale,
high discriminating power—100% for the purposes of this some of the psychometric properties of the items were
study. In other words, this analysis showed high discrimi- calculated. Table 2 shows an adequate distribution of
nating power for the 18 items assessed. The aim was to item responses. In fact, the standard deviation and the
obtain a short scale; therefore, a multiple linear regression mean showed a broad distribution of responses. A
was performed to estimate a representative number corrected item-total correlation always above .40 and
of items of the Transphobia=Genderism dimension— items that, if deleted, did not improve the Cronbach’s
overrepresented with 12 items (compared to 6 for Gender alpha of their corresponding subscale indicated good
Bashing)—minimizing variance loss. As expected, the 12 psychometric properties. The scale also showed good
items were significant in the equation and explained reliability, with a ¼ .80 for Gender Bashing and a ¼ .83
100% of the variance. However, an analysis of each item for Transphobia=Genderism.
revealed that the first six items of the equation (4, 12, 17, To provide the scale with external validity indicators,
25, 27, and 30) explained 95% of the variance of this Pearson correlations were performed with other theore-
dimension. Therefore, the number of items was reduced tically related subscales. As shown in Table 3, both sub-
by half, accepting a slight loss of variance. scales were significantly correlated with all the criteria
After exploring the dimensionality of the scale and used. The correlation was moderate with Hostile Sexism
considerably reducing the number of items, the factor and low with Benevolent Sexism. Results also showed
structure of the short form was confirmed. This was done low to moderate correlations with Homophobia Toward
by testing three different models with a CFA: (M1), a Lesbians and moderate to high correlations with Homo-
related two-factor model; (M2), an independent two- phobia Toward Gay Men.
factor model; and (M3), a one-factor model. As shown Finally, the study verified the existence of differences
in Table 1, the related two-factor model (Transphobia= as a function of sex in both subscales. Results showed
Genderism and Gender Bashing) obtained the best fit significant differences in both subscales: Transphobia=
indices. Only this model (M1) obtained adequate fit in Genderism t (696) ¼ 11.82, p < .01, d ¼ .90 (boys: M ¼
all the indices used. 49.55, SD ¼ 18.32; girls: M ¼ 63.79, SD ¼ 13.21) and
As shown in Figure 1, all the standard weights of the Gender Bashing t (696) ¼ 10.77, p < .01, d ¼ .81 (boys:
items of each factor were above .30. This model, which M ¼ 32.16, SD ¼ 8.14; girls: M ¼ 37.60, SD ¼ 4.90).
explained 54.22% of the variance, was considered valid Finally, an assessment was performed to explore
for the short form of the questionnaire (see Appendix). possible differences in attitudes targeted toward

Figure 1. Path diagram and standardized estimates of the related two-factor model.

660
ATTITUDES TOWARD TRANSPEOPLE

Table 2. Psychometric Properties of Items in the Gender- As explained in the introduction, the GTS was
Bashing and Transphobia=Genderism Subscales initially validated in three studies (Hill & Willoughby,
2005). In the first two studies, the original three-factor
Scale Items M SD ci-tc a-item a scale
structure—Transphobia, Genderism, and Gender
Gender bashing 1 6.35 1.44 .59 .76 .80 Bashing—was proven to be valid. However, construct
2 6.31 1.41 .54 .77 validity was replicated only in the third study, which sug-
6 5.06 1.98 .58 .77
gested that a three-factor structure was not appropriate.
9 5.82 1.70 .42 .80
13 5.68 1.72 .60 .76 The structure was then reduced to two factors, because
20 5.74 1.74 .65 .75 two of the factors were found to be highly correlated
Transphobia=genderism 4 4.40 2.25 .57 .81 .83 (.88). Finally, a one-factor structure was proposed,
12 5.27 2.86 .59 .80 because there were problems with the weighting of some
17 4.98 1.97 .67 .78
items. Among other samples, Winter and associates
25 4.77 2.00 .60 .80
27 3.74 2.14 .49 .82 (2008) tried to replicate the construct validity of the scale
30 5.03 1.97 .68 .78 in a sample from Hong Kong. They advocated a five-
factor structure. Although at least three items were high-
Note. M ¼ mean; SD ¼standard deviation; ci-tc ¼ corrected item-total lighted as being problematic, nothing was mentioned
correlation; a -item ¼ Cronbach’s alpha if item is deleted.
about the fact that many items were forced to load on
one factor. For these reasons, it was considered key to
gender-nonconforming boys or gender-nonconforming improve the construct validity of the scale. The PA
girls. This was done by obtaining and comparing the showed the existence of two factors in the scale, as stated
means of items assessing antipathy toward gender- by Hill and Willoughby (2005), and proved to be more
nonconforming girls (items 2, 12, 13, and 30; M ¼ 5.57, effective at determining the number of factors than
SD ¼ 1.32) and gender-nonconforming boys (items 1, 6, classic methods such as Kaiser’s (Velicer et al., 2000).
9, 17, 20, and 25; M ¼ 5.45, SD ¼ 1.30). Significant To explore both factors in detail, an EFA was performed
differences were found, although they had a low effect and identified several problem items: items 8, 16, and 26,
size: t (697) ¼  3.56, p < .01, d ¼ .10. also directly highlighted as problematic in the Chinese
validation, and items 5, 15, 19, and 23, which, as men-
tioned, were ambiguous both in the present validation
Discussion and that of Winter and colleagues (2008). Items 18, 22,
28, and 31, which were ambiguous in the study by Hill
The present study proposes a 12-item short form of and Willoughby (2005), were removed by using the
the GTS developed by Hill and Willoughby (2005). This EFA in the present study. Finally, items 10, 11, and 32
short form showed good psychometric properties. Both were excluded from the rest of the analyses, as suggested
hypotheses regarding adolescents’ attitudes toward by the EFA, to gradually reduce the number of items—to
transpeople were confirmed: boys expressed significantly 18 at that stage. Overall, using a more sophisticated selec-
more negative attitudes toward transpeople than girls tion criterion, the present study highlighted practically all
did, and participants’ attitudes toward transmen were the problems observed in previous studies, proving the
more positive than their attitudes toward transwomen. need to review the scale.

Table 3. Correlation Matrix between the Subscales of the GTS and Those of the ASI and MHS

Hom. Hom. Hom. Hom. Hom. Hom.


Transphobia/ Gender Hostile Benevolent Lesb. Lesb. Lesb. Gay Gay Gay
Subscales genderism Bashing Sexism Sexism Inst. Discom. Deviance Discom. Inst. Deviance

Transphobia=genderism 1
Gender bashing .66 1
Hostile sexism .50 .39 1
Benevolent sexism .30 .17 .36 1
Hom. Lesb. Inst. .23 .20 .10 .01 1
Hom. Lesb. Discom. .47 .39 .26 .20 .41 1
Hom. Lesb. Deviance .53 .50 .32 .21 .25 .55 1
Hom. Gay Discom. .65 .55 .46 .22 .27 .54 .51 1
Hom. Gay Inst. .61 .47 .46 .26 .08 .41 .50 .51 1
Hom. Gay Deviance .60 .54 .38 .28 .20 .50 .78 .55 .62 1

Note. Hom. Lesb. Inst. ¼ Institutional homophobia toward lesbians; Hom. Lesb. Discom. ¼ Personal discomfort with lesbians; Hom. Lesb.
Deviance ¼ Deviance=changeability of female homosexuality; Hom. Gay Inst. ¼ Institutional homophobia toward gay men; Hom. Gay Discom. ¼
Personal discomfort with gay men; Hom. Gay Deviance ¼ Deviance=changeability of male homosexuality.

Significant at 99% level.

661
CARRERA-FERNÁNDEZ, LAMEIRAS-FERNÁNDEZ, RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, AND VALLEJO-MEDINA

The discriminant analysis and the regression reduced latter (Glick, Diebold, Bailey-Werner, & Zhu 1997;
the total number of items to 12. These items showed a Glick & Fiske, 1996). Such attitudes were also posi-
very high discriminating power and also explained the tively correlated with homophobia (Hill & Willoughby,
most variance in their corresponding subscales. This 2005; Nagoshi et al., 2008); indeed, moderate to
implied that the 12 items discriminated among attitudes high correlations were found with homophobia toward
at least as well as the original scale. As shown in the gay men and low to moderate correlations were
CFA, the 12 items had a robust factor structure, with found with homophobia toward lesbians. Correlations
adequate fit indices and high standard weights. In between both attitudes are expressed very well in the
addition, a one-dimensional structure did not seem justi- concept of the ‘‘heterosexual matrix’’ proposed by
fied in the short form. The fact of disambiguating the Judith Butler (1990, 1993). This author has argued that
dimensionality of the scale is likely to have resulted in ‘‘real’’ expressions of masculinity and femininity are
two factors that were more independent than those orig- embedded within a presupposed hegemonic heterosexu-
inally proposed. At least, this seemed to be shown by the ality. According to Butler, ‘‘intelligible and unintelli-
correlations (.66) between both factors, which were gible identities’’ are organized around this matrix.
strongly related but could not be considered to assess Compared to unintelligible identities, intelligible gender
the same concept. Therefore, a two-factor structure— identities can be defined as those in which apparent sex-
Transphobia=Genderism and Gender Bashing—seemed ual dimorphism, gender, and sexual orientation are
to be the most appropriate for this short form. This consistent. Thus, positive correlations among negative
structure explained a similar amount of variance attitudes toward transpeople, sexism, and homophobia
(54.22%) to the structure proposed by Hill and Wil- seem to be explained by the gender socialization pro-
loughby (2005) (60%, with four items loading on a factor cess. This implies not only the construction of different
that they did not semantically belong to) and that pro- identities but the subordination of identities that devi-
posed by Winter and colleagues (2008) (53.96%). This ate from traditional masculinity. In other words, gender
made it possible to correctly summarize the 12 simple socialization in a patriarchal culture produces and pri-
scores of the items into two factors that assessed most vileges an identity (hegemonic male identity) and subor-
of the variance of these attitudes correctly. dinates other identities (i.e., women and people who
Each of the 12 final items showed good psychometric transgress gender boundaries). This is achieved through
properties. They all exhibited a good spread of responses sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, which make it
and corrected item-total correlations above .30, as possible to maintain and reproduce the status quo
recommended by Nunnally and Bernstein (1995). None (Burgos, 2007; Epstein, O’Flynn, & Teldford, 2003;
of them improved the final Cronbach’s alpha of the sub- Hill, 2002; Kimmel & Mahler, 2003).
scale if deleted. Altogether, the six items in Transphobia= As regards the attitudes assessed, as expected, boys
Genderism (a ¼ .83) and the six items in Gender Bashing showed significantly more negative attitudes toward trans-
(a ¼ .80) provided the questionnaire with optimum people than girls (Antoszewski, Kasielska, Jedrzejezak, &
reliability in this sample. Thus, apart from being short Kruk-Jeromin, 2007; Hill & Willoughby, 2005; Tee &
and having good construct validity, this scale was also Hegarty, 2006; Winter et al., 2008; Winter, Rogando-
reliable, with robust items that contributed to a more Sasot, & King, 2007). This is consistent with studies on
reliable assessment. Moreover, the scale was still able homophobia (Hicks & Lee, 2006; Raja & Stokes, 1998;
to measure the three original components initially pro- Whitley, 2001) and sexism (Carrera, 2010; Eckehammar,
posed by Hill and Willoughby (2005): the cognitive and Akrami, & Araya, 2000; Glick et al., 2000; Glick et al.,
affective components (with three items respectively) 2004; Glick & Fiske, 1996). This phenomenon may be
included in the Transphobia=Genderism dimension and influenced by the greater rigidity of the male socialization
the behavioral component (with six items) represented model because, as highlighted by Epstein and colleagues
in the Gender-Bashing dimension. Furthermore, the (2003), traditional male identity is built on misogyny
scale still discriminated between attitudes toward gender- and homophobia. It seems that boys invest a greater effort
nonconforming women (transmen) (items 2, 12, 13, and than girls in adhering to gender rules as a way to reaffirm
30) and gender-nonconforming men (transwomen) their own masculinity and heterosexuality (Kimmel,
(items 1, 6, 9, 17, 20, and 25). This made it possible 1994). Thus, boys are likely to feel more threatened by
to analyze the differences between attitudes toward the idea of transpeople, who destabilize the natural and
transmen and transwomen. binary concept of sex and gender. Prejudice and discrimi-
In addition, as in previous studies, the analysis of nation toward transpeople seems to be used by boys as a
external validity indicators showed a positive relation- weapon to preserve their ‘‘heterosexual masculinity’’ and
ship between attitudes toward people who transgress be accepted by their peers. Hence, the rejection experi-
sex=gender norms and sexist attitudes, particularly enced by transpeople is part of the mechanisms of con-
hostile sexist attitudes, and to a lesser extent benevolent struction of hegemonic identities. In fact, as highlighted
sexist ones (Nagoshi et al., 2008). This is not surprising, by the queer theory, the concepts of hegemonic femininity
considering the positive and subtle affective tone of the and masculinity cannot be intelligible or powerful without

662
ATTITUDES TOWARD TRANSPEOPLE

the verified presence of an ‘‘abnormal’’ gender. It is acceptance of sexual diversity (De la Cruz, 2003; Lameiras
therefore necessary for ‘‘normal’’ gender identities to exist & Carrera, 2009). This kind of education is a right of every
in contrast with the presence of other ‘‘abnormal’’ identi- individual, as highlighted by the World Association for
ties to make them intelligible (Butler, 2000). Thus, building Sexual Health in its Declaration of Sexual Rights, pro-
hegemonic and normative gender identities—particularly posed in Valencia in 1997 and approved in Hong Kong
hegemonic masculinity— implies not only creating differ- in 1999. By promoting a gender identity that is free of gen-
ent identities through a differential gender socialization der roles and stereotypes and shows respect for diversity,
process but also upholding gender inequalities by rejecting this inclusive sexual education model will also lead to
and excluding ‘‘other unintelligible identities.’’ safer and healthier sexual behaviors (Campbell, 1995;
Finally, this study found significantly more negative Lameiras & Carrera, 2009).
attitudes toward gender-nonconforming men (trans- One of the strengths of the study is the presentation of
women) than toward gender-nonconforming women a scale to analyze transphobic attitudes that has good
(transmen) (Bettcher, 2007; Lombardi et al, 2002; construct validity and adequate indices of reliability
Winter et al., 2008). This is consistent with findings on and validity. This contributes to overcoming the limita-
attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, which have tions of the GTS. In addition, the fact that it is a short
shown more negative attitudes toward homosexual version will save time and increase the effectiveness of
men than toward lesbians (Kite & Whitley, 1996; LaMar evaluation processes. Moreover, the study, performed
& Kite, 1998; Rodrı́guez et al., 2013). As mentioned, with a broad sample of students, provides valuable
this difference of attitudes may be due to the overrating information about a phenomenon that has received little
of masculine gender traits and roles (Cavender, attention in research on gender and social studies and
Bond-Maupin, & Jurik, 1999). In fact, boys who tran- has hardly been explored in adolescent samples. In
scend the boundaries of masculinity in any sense are fact, attitudes toward transpeople are a promising area
more punished than girls who transgress the boundaries for future research. Gender-based differences previously
of femininity. In other words, gender-nonconforming identified and differential attitudes toward the diversity
boys are degraded to the status of ‘‘queers,’’ ‘‘wimps,’’ of trans identities (transsexuals, transgenderists, trans-
or ‘‘sissies’’ (Guasch, 2006), whereas girls who transgress vestites, or simply gender-nonconforming individuals)
feminine roles and stereotypes are given better treat- should be studied in greater depth.
ment. The milder punishment of women who ‘‘deviate’’ In conclusion, the short form of the GTS proposed in
from the gender boundaries of femininity may be due to this study is a brief, valid, and reliable instrument to
the fact that, in women, subverting the boundaries of assess attitudes toward transpeople. This construct has
femininity, adopting traits and roles that have tradition- received little attention in gender studies. The results
ally been considered as masculine, also implies devaluat- obtained show a tough reality for individuals who
ing traditional femininity, in agreement with the values transgress sex=gender limits, expressing ‘‘unintelligible’’
of the patriarchal society (Reay, 2001). identities. It is not only essential to create valid and
Results of this study have important practical implica- reliable scales that provide greater insight into the
tions for research in social sciences and educational discrimination experienced by transpeople. It is also
practice. First, they show the need to develop valid and necessary and urgent to achieve an educational system
reliable scales to assess attitudes, particularly toward that ‘‘unlearns’’ traditional sex and gender norms to
transpeople, which have been scarcely studied overall. build more open and democratic societies in which all
Second, they indicate the need to analyze such attitudes lives and identities have the same value and where show-
among adolescents. This is a necessary first step for ing a gender identity that is fissured, crosscutting, or
designing educational interventions with the following ‘‘unintelligible’’ does not automatically entail a real or
purposes: to highlight that gender and the sex duality symbolic death sentence.
are constructed concepts and promote more flexible gen-
der roles and stereotypes as well as positive attitudes
Limitations
toward transpeople and sexual diversity in general. Such
interventions should take advantage of the flexibility Although the present study represents an improve-
of adolescents and the fact that schools are agents of ment in the assessment of attitudes toward transpeople,
socialization that can be used to subvert the status it has its limitations. First, the sample was probabilistic
quo through a transgressive and liberating pedagogy but does not represent a large part of Spain. New studies
(Kumashiro, 2002). This would imply a major change should correct this in Spain and other countries. In
from current sexual education models—morally and addition, other samples should be used to extrapolate
medically oriented and too focused on sexual behavior the data observed in this study. Moreover, any short
that prevents sexually related risks—to an inclusive version should be confirmed on an independent sample
sexual education. This inclusive education should be by administering only the items of the short form. This
developed in the context of identity and aimed at the full would confirm that the items not included in the model
development of the personality of individuals and the do not have any effects on the items included in it.

663
CARRERA-FERNÁNDEZ, LAMEIRAS-FERNÁNDEZ, RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, AND VALLEJO-MEDINA

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Appendix

The section presents the proposed short form of the Transphobia/Genderism


Genderism and Transphobia Scale developed by Hill
7. (4) God made two sexes and two sexes only.=Dios
and Willoughby (2005). Note that the item number in
hizo dos sexos y sólo dos sexos.
the original Genderism and Transphobia Scale is shown
8. (12) I cannot understand why a woman would
in parentheses. Lower scores indicate a higher level of
act masculine.=No podrı́a entender por qué una
transphobic attitudes.
mujer se comporta de forma masculine.
9. (17) A man who dresses as a woman is a pervert.=
Response Scale Un chico que se viste de mujer es un pervertido.
10. (25) Feminine men make me feel uncomfortable.=
1. Strongly agree=Muy de acuerdo Los chicos femeninos me disgustan.
2. Agree=De acuerdo 11. (27) People are either men or women.=Las
3. Somewhat agree=Algo de acuerdo personas son hombre o mujer.
4. Neutral=Ni de acuerdo ni en desacuerdo 12. (30) It is morally wrong for a woman to
5. Somewhat disagree=Algo en desacuerdo present herself as a man in public.=Es inmoral
6. Disagree=En desacuerdo que una mujer se presente en público como un
7. Strongly disagree=Muy en desacuerdo hombre.

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