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Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 268–273 | Cite as

Psychiatrists’ and Psychiatry Residents’ Attitudes Toward Transgender People

  • Nareesa Ali
  • William FleisherEmail author
  • Julie Erickson
Empirical Report

Abstract

Objective

Gender minority groups, such as transgender individuals, frequently encounter stigma, discrimination, and negative mental health outcomes, which can result in contact with mental health professionals. Recent studies suggest that negative attitudes toward transgender individuals are prevalent and measurable within the general population. The Genderism and Transphobia scale (GTS) measures anti-transgender feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. The purpose of this study was to use the GTS to conduct an investigation of psychiatrists’ attitudes toward transgender individuals.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey of n = 142 faculty members and residents from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba was conducted. Respondents completed an online survey consisting of demographic questions and the GTS. Responses were analyzed descriptively and compared to previously published data on the GTS.

Results

There was a trend for psychiatrists and psychiatry residents within this sample to endorse less negative attitudes toward transgender people compared to other published data using a sample of undergraduate students. Descriptive analyses suggest that psychiatrists’ and psychiatry residents’ GTS scores may be related to gender identity, political ideology, religiosity, and levels of both professional and personal contact.

Conclusions

These data evoke optimism regarding psychiatrists’ and psychiatry residents’ attitudes toward transgender individuals. Additional larger-scale studies comparing this medical specialty group with other specialty groups will further elucidate factors that modify physician attitudes toward this patient population. These findings may contribute to the development of educational strategies to ensure that the transgender population receives medical treatment without stigma or attitudinal compromise.

Keywords

Residents Gender issues Faculty development Transgender Psychiatry Attitudes Professionalism Education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the administrative support of Ms Karen Corver. We appreciate the permission provided to us by Dr. Darryl B. Hill to use the GTS in this study. The support of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Sciences Centre Medical Staff Council Fellowship Fund (for NA) is noted and appreciated.

Disclosures

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nareesa Ali
    • 1
  • William Fleisher
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Julie Erickson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.PsycHealth CentreWinnipegCanada

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