Violence Against Transgender People: A Review of United States Data

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, United States
Aggression and Violent Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.95). 05/2009; 14(3):170-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2009.01.006


Transgender people face many challenges in a society that is unforgiving of any system of gender that is not binary. However, there are three primary sources of data in the United States for discerning the rates and types of violence that transgender people face throughout their lives — self-report surveys and needs assessments, hot-line call and social service records, and police reports. Data from each of these sources are discussed in length, as well as some of the methodological issues for these types of data sources. All three sources indicate that violence against transgender people starts early in life, that transgender people are at risk for multiple types and incidences of violence, and that this threat lasts throughout their lives. In addition, transgender people seem to have particularly high risk for sexual violence. Future research considerations, such as improving data collection efforts, are discussed.

1,482 Reads
    • "The term transgender is commonly used as an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression does not conform with the sex they were assigned at birth (Institute of Medicine, 2011; The GenIUSS Group, 2014). Transgender populations often face multiple forms of discrimination and victimization, including physical, verbal, and sexual assault (Institute of Medicine, 2011; Stotzer, 2009), which can negatively impact their wellbeing and may result in maladaptive coping, such as heavy alcohol use (Keyes et al., 2011; Meyer, 2003). Few epidemiologic surveillance systems collect information about transgender status (Institute of Medicine, 2011; The GenIUSS Group, 2014), limiting information that compares the drinking behaviors of transgender people to their cisgender counterparts (i.e., people whose gender identity and expression match their Please cite this article in press as: Coulter, R.W.S., et al., Differences in alcohol use and alcohol-related problems between transgenderand nontransgender-identified young adults. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about differences in alcohol use and alcohol-related problems between transgender- and nontransgender-identified populations. Using data from a large-scale health survey, we compare the drinking patterns and prevalence of alcohol-related problems of transgender-identified individuals to nontransgender-identified males and females. For transgender-identified people, we examine how various forms of victimization relate to heavy episodic drinking (HED). Cross-sectional surveys were completed by 75,192 students aged 18-29 years attending 120 post-secondary educational institutions in the United States from 2011 to 2013. Self-reported measures included alcohol use, alcohol-related problems, victimization, and sociodemographics, including 3 gender-identity groups: transgender-identified individuals; nontransgender-identified males; and nontransgender-identified females. Compared to transgender-identified individuals, nontransgender-identified males were more likely to report HED in the past 2 weeks (relative risk=1.42; p=0.006); however, nontransgender-identified males and females reported HED on fewer days than transgender-identified people (incidence-rate ratios [IRRs] ranged from 0.28 to 0.43; p-values<0.001). Compared to transgender-identified people, nontransgender-identified males and females had lower odds of past-year alcohol-related sexual assault and suicidal ideation (odds ratios ranged from 0.24 to 0.45; p-values<0.05). Among transgender-identified people, individuals who were sexually assaulted (IRR=3.21, p=0.011) or verbally threatened (IRR=2.42, p=0.021) in the past year had greater HED days than those who did not experience those forms of victimization. Compared to transgender-identified people, nontransgender-identified males and females: have fewer HED occasions (despite nontransgender-identified males having greater prevalence of HED); and are at lower risk for alcohol-related sexual assaults and suicidal ideation. Experiences of sexual assault and verbal threats are associated with greater HED occasions for transgender-identified people. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 07/2015; 154. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.07.006 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Based on sexual minority (Meyer, 2003) and gender minority (Hendricks and Testa, 2012; Reisner et al., 2014a, 2014d) stress theories, SUDs among transgender people are increasingly viewed as downstream consequences of internalized and enacted transphobia (Nuttbrock et al., 2014b). Transgender people are at high risk for verbal, physical and sexual victimization (Garofalo et al., 2006; Operario and Nemoto, 2010; Stieglitz, 2010; Stotzer, 2009). A national study of more than 6000 transgender people found that 63% had experienced a serious act of discrimination (e.g., medical service denial, eviction, bullying, or physical/sexual assault; Grant et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transgender people have elevated substance use prevalence compared with the U.S. general population, however no studies have comprehensively examined the relationship of psychosocial risk factors to substance use and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment among both male-to-female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) transgender adults. Secondary data analysis of a 2013 community-based survey of transgender adults in Massachusetts (N=452) was conducted. Adjusted multivariable logistic regression models were fit to examine the relationship of four risk factor domains with SUD treatment history and recent substance use: (1) demographics; (2) gender-related characteristics; (3) mental health; (4) socio-structural factors. Adjusted Odds Ratios (aOR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI) were estimated. Ten percent of the sample reported lifetime SUD treatment. Factors associated with significant increase in odds of lifetime SUD treatment alongside recent substance use (all p<0.05) were: (1) older age (aOR=1.02; 95% CI=1.01-1.04), higher educational attainment (aOR=3.59; 95% CI=2.35-5.50), low income (aOR=0.58; 95% CI=0.39-0.86); (2) MTF identity (aOR=3.03; 95% CI=1.95-4.67), gender-affirming medical care (aOR=1.99; 95% CI=1.32-3.00); (3) intimate partner violence (aOR=1.68; 95% CI=1.13-2.49), posttraumatic stress disorder (aOR=2.56; 95% CI=1.69-3.88), depression (aOR=2.30; 95% CI=1.58-3.35), mental health treatment (aOR=1.65; 95% CI=1.11-2.45); (4) discrimination (aOR=1.90; 95% CI=1.22-2.95), unstable housing (aOR=1.80; 95% CI=1.21-2.67), and sex work (aOR=2.48; 95% CI=1.24-4.95). Substance use and SUD treatment among transgender adults are associated with demographic, gender-related, mental health, and socio-structural risk factors. Studies are warranted that identify SUD treatment barriers, and integrate SUD treatment with psychosocial and structural interventions for a diverse spectrum of transgender adults. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 04/2015; 152. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.04.008 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Such research has indicated that a large subset of the transgender community experiences sexual assault and rape, and many are subjected to such violence at multiple points over the life course. Although there are substantial methodological weaknesses of much of the research in this realm and estimates of the prevalence of sexual assault and rape vary between studies, the general pattern of findings indicates that roughly 50% of transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact (Stotzer, 2009). In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2010) report that, among the general U.S. population, roughly 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men in the U.S. have been raped, and 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men report nonconsensual sexual contact. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transgender people often face barriers in accessing culturally competent domestic violence and rape crisis services, yet few studies have used a national sample of transgender people to study this topic or examine differential rates of discrimination within this population. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted in 2008-2009 by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, collected data about discrimination affecting transgender people across a variety of settings. The present study involves secondary data analysis of this dataset to examine whether certain sociodemographic factors and psychosocial risks are significant predictors of unequal treatment of transgender people in domestic violence programs (N=2,438) and rape crisis centers (N=2,424). For both settings, findings indicate that transgender individuals who are low-income and not U.S. citizens are more likely to experience unequal treatment based upon being transgender or gender non-conforming. Within domestic violence programs, transgender people of color, those with disabilities, and those more frequently perceived to be transgender by others are more likely to experience unequal treatment. Psychosocial risk factors (suicidality, sex work history, and disconnection from family) predict unequal treatment in both settings. The article concludes by discussing implications for social service practitioners and future research.
    Journal of Social Service Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1080/01488376.2014.987943 · 0.44 Impact Factor
Show more