The Influence of Gender Stereotypes on Perceptions of Gender Non-Binary Individuals

Abby Cunningham

Name: Abby Cunningham
Major: Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Amber Garcia
Previous research indicates that gender stereotypes can impact people’s perceptions of mental health. However, there are limited studies on gender non-binary individuals, gender stereotypes, or perceptions of mental health that may affect them. My I.S. examined how gender stereotypes surrounding men, women, and gender non-binary individuals may shape people’s perceptions of their mental health. It also examined reports of intergroup contact. Gender non-binary individuals were predicted to be viewed as the most mentally unhealthy, the least competent and warm, and of the lowest social status. It was also hypothesized that participants would have the least intergroup contact with gender non-binary individuals. Participants completed a survey in which they were provided with questions about a target gender group (men, women, or gender non-binary individuals) pertaining to gender stereotypes, mental health, and intergroup contact. Results indicate that there were no differences in perceptions of mental health for the target groups. Participants revealed the most intergroup contact with women than the other conditions, and the least intergroup contact with gender non-binary individuals. Gender non-binary individuals were rated to be of the lowest status but were not rated as the least competent or warm group. Further studies could investigate larger populations to reflect the wider community’s views and knowledge about non-binary individuals. This study may be beneficial in providing more information about non-binary identities, as well as outlining the importance of the development of mental health resources applicable to gender non-binary individuals and their experiences.

Abby will be online to field comments on April 16:
noon-2pm EDT (PST 9-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study.

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