Damien W. Riggs

Damien W. Riggs
Flinders University · College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

PhD Psychology (The University of Adelaide)

About

269
Publications
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3,400
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2009 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (269)
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Trans children and their parents face challenges in both their private and public lives. In terms of the latter, public attitudes toward trans children and their parents can significantly impact experiences of inclusion or exclusion, including in terms of rights. Yet, to date, while a substantive body of research has focused on attitud...
Article
For foster or kinship carers who provide long-term care to children who are unable to live with their birth parents, a strong bond is often formed. Yet despite the best intentions of all parties, in some cases placements may be terminated, often leaving foster or kinship carers dealing with considerable loss and grief. This paper reports on the eva...
Chapter
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Prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has been researched by social psychologists since the advent of 'gay affirmative' psychology in the 1970s. After outlining the groups under the rainbow acronym, this chapter examines covert and overt forms of anti-LGBT prejudice. The chapter discusses how all forms of discrimina...
Article
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KEY PRACTITIONER MESSAGES: • There is a well-established link between animal- and human-directed violence. • Reports of animal abuse in child protection referrals may indicate more severe cases of child abuse. • Cross-reporting of abuse is important, both in the context of child protection and animal welfare. KEY WORDS: child protection; animal ab...
Article
In Australia, significant numbers of children in out-of-home care live in foster care placements, with many such placements being long-term. Despite the potential healing that may occur in the context of foster care, many foster children experience high levels of poor mental health, and may enact trauma-related behaviours that can significantly imp...
Article
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Disasters do not just affect humans. And humans do not only live with, care for or interact with other humans. In this conceptual article, we explain how animals are relevant to green and disaster social work. Power, oppression and politics are our themes. We start the discussion by defining disasters and providing examples of how three categories...
Article
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Research on attitudes towards asexual people is a relatively new focus within the discipline of psychology, and to date has not been a topic of focus in the Australian context. This study focused on Australian undergraduate psychology students, and their attitudes towards asexual people. The study recruited 231 participants from undergraduate psych...
Book
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Bent Street 5.1 – Soft Borders, Hard Edges, a special edition focusing on the trans and gender diverse community is now available. Edited by Sam Elkin, Yves Rees and Tiffany Jones, this special midyear 2021 edition includes contributions by: Bron Richardson, Jordie Slonim, Jamie James, Kait Fenwick, Sav Zwickl, Damien W. Riggs, Carla A. Pfeffer,...
Article
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Trans and non-binary youth (TNBY) face high levels of interpersonal and social adversity as well as disproportionate rates of mental health issues such as depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Among protective factors, context plays a key role. In addition to parental support, access to gender-affirming medical care begins to emerge as cruci...
Article
Objective: Evaluate the utility of brief online training for facilitating mental health professionals’ perceived knowledge, confidence, and comfort in working with non-binary clients, and building positive attitudes. Method: Baseline participants were 79 Australian registered mental health professionals, of whom 38 completed online training and a o...
Article
Objective: To examine outcomes from a four-part webinar series on affirming approaches to working with trans and non-binary young people in terms of Australian psychologists’ confidence in working with this population. Method: The author designed and ran a webinar series for the Australian Psychological Society (APS) in early 2018. Of the 76 webina...
Book
In Home and Away: Mothers and Babies in Institutional Spaces, the authors examine how health design in a psychiatric mother-baby unit can serve the needs of mothers and babies, their families, and the staff. Arguing that while mothers in institutional care are away from their own homes, they need not be away from their babies, the authors show that...
Article
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INTRODUCTION: Based on an understanding of links between human- and animal-directed domestic violence, this article: 1) argues for companion-animal inclusive domestic violence service delivery; and 2) reflects on the challenges this offers to social work and the human services.APPROACH: We start by considering the importance of companion animals in...
Article
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Access to medical care is significant for many transgender young people and their families, which involves interactions with healthcare professionals. While a trans affirming model is used across Australian paediatric gender clinics, this does not automatically mean that all transgender young people and their parents experience the care they receiv...
Article
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Background Growing numbers of men, trans/masculine, and non-binary people are undertaking pregnancies, yet relatively little is known about the experiences of this diverse population in regard to conception. Aims This study sought to examine men’s, trans/masculine, and non-binary people’s experiences of pregnancy, including conception. Methods In...
Article
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Background: Growing numbers of men, trans/masculine, and non-binary people are becoming gestational parents, yet very little is known about experiences of pregnancy loss among this diverse population. Methods: The study employed a cross sectional design. Interviews were undertaken with a convenience sample of 51 trans/masculine and non-binary peopl...
Technical Report
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It is increasingly recognised that many humans enjoy close, meaningful relationships with animal companions. Unfortunately, such relationships can make both humans and animals vulnerable to those who might seek to abuse them. To date, a focus on what is known as ‘the link’ between human and animaldirected abuse has focused almost exclusively on het...
Article
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Although there is a lack of data on experiences in other youth-serving organisations, past research on schools has found that transgender youth often perceive the school climate, as well as the physical aspects of the school environment, as less safe than their cisgender peers. Similarly, transgender students’ level of confidence in adults and staf...
Article
Background Transgender people experience high rates of suicidality and self-harm. Past research has established a range of correlates of suicidality/self-harm among transgender people but little is known about whether these correlates are similar for transgender and cisgender people. Aims The aim of this study was to test whether a range of potent...
Chapter
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In countries such as Australia, the UK, and the USA, growing numbers of LGBTQ people are becoming foster parents. This chapter summarizes what is known from the research evidence, primarily focusing on lesbian and gay foster parents given the dearth of research on bisexual, transgender, and queer foster parents. Key themes identified from the liter...
Article
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This article explores the intersections of human and animal lives in the context of violence and marginalisation. It draws on two studies, the first involving a sub-sample of 23 open-ended survey responses completed by transgender and non-binary (TNB) people taken from a larger study exploring the intersections of animal- and human-directed violenc...
Article
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This paper draws on three Australian studies focused on views about fertility preservation among 1) parents of transgender and non-binary children, 2) transgender and non-binary adults, and 3) healthcare professionals working with transgender and non-binary people. The first two studies were undertaken concurrently given the dearth of research on t...
Article
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Despite growing numbers of people engaging in embryo donation for the purposes of family building, public access to information about the process may be limited. As such, support and counselling-both formal (i.e., through clinics) and informal (i.e., through online communities)-can play an important role in information provision. This article draws...
Article
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Background: It is increasingly recognized that transgender young people require affirming medical care, however the provision of such care may be mitigated by the availability of services and the views of parents. Aims: This study aimed to explore the views of Australian transgender young people (aged 11–17) and their parents with regards to medica...
Article
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The psy disciplines (i.e., psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy) have played a significant role in shaping understandings of transgender people's lives in ways that are transnormative (i.e., by emphasizing one particular account of what it means to be transgender). This article documents (a) how the rise of the psy disciplines...
Article
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Many transgender people enjoy positive intimate relationships, however such relationships exist within a context of broader discrimination, specifically cisgenderism. The present study sought to investigate the relationships between demographic variables, significant other support, relationship satisfaction, resiliency, past relationship experience...
Book
Cambridge Core - Sociology of Gender - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, and Queer Psychology - by Sonja J. Ellis
Article
Increasing cultural and academic attention is being paid to fathers who assume the primary caregiving role, stemming from interest into whether contemporary masculinity is evolving away from traditional, hegemonic ideals. This study utilises a Discourse Analysis informed by Membership Categorisation Analysis to explore how this relatively new categ...
Chapter
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Given the fact that previous analyses have not focused specifically on picture books featuring trans characters, and given the recent increase in the number of books published featuring such characters, the present chapter reports on a comprehensive audit of picture books portraying trans characters. In this chapter we argue that while the presence...
Chapter
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In this chapter I provide a consideration of the literature on transgender people and reproduction, specifically focused on fertility preservation. From this literature I suggest that some of the ambiguities that would seem apparent with regard to transgender people’s decisions about parenthood are minimized through an over emphasis on fertility as...
Chapter
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The Psychic Life of Racism in Gay Men’s Communities engages in the necessarily complex task of mapping out the operations of racialized desire as it circulates among gay men. In exploring such desire, the contributors to this collection consider the intersections of privi- lege and marginalization in the context of gay men’s lives and, in doing so,...
Article
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Extensive literature reveals the many health benefits animal companions can bring to the humans who live with them. However, much of this work has taken place with heterosexual and cisgender populations. To address this gap, we conducted qualitative interviews with 19 trans and cisgender women of diverse sexualities in Australia who reported having...
Article
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While transitioning gender historically precluded many transgender people from conceiving (more) children, there is now the option to undertake fertility preservation. However, the uptake of this option to date has been low. In order to extend existing limited research on the topic, this article draws on responses to a questionnaire survey provided...
Article
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Although knives are the most common homicide instrument in Britain, factors that influence knife-carrying tolerance (i.e., the extent to which it is seen as acceptable and justified) and perceptions of anti-knife messages (i.e., slogans and posters aimed at reducing knife crime) have not been examined, which the current article will cover by featur...
Chapter
This final chapter takes up a range of topics not elsewhere covered in the book in terms of clinicians working with transgender young people and their families. First, it examines barriers to affirming care and how they may be addressed. Second, it examines the efficacy of the GENDER mnemonic and its use in training. Third, it considers how practic...
Chapter
This chapter shifts the focus beyond the parent-child relationship to consider other family members, specifically siblings, grandparents, and animal companions. Utilising a critical developmental approach the chapter suggests that siblings and grandparents can be both a key source of support for transgender young people and sources of stress. The r...
Chapter
This chapter continues the critical developmental approach outlined in Chap. 2, in this chapter focusing specifically on the challenges and joys faced by transgender adolescents. The chapter explores gender intensification theory as one way of understanding the challenges that transgender adolescents may face, but also draws attention to four areas...
Book
“Riggs makes a novel contribution to affirming interventions for transgender youth. The book clearly positions young people as experts in their own gender and proposes a modern and timely intervention model that will certainly be helpful to practitioners who wish to engage in anti-oppressive, evidence-based and respectful work with young people and...
Chapter
This chapter adopts a critical developmental approach to understanding how transgender children come to inhabit their gender. Specifically, the chapter examines the cisgenderism inherent in much of the developmental literature on gender, and proposes an alternate account of gender development that is inclusive of transgender children. The chapter a...
Chapter
This chapter examines four ways in which parents may shape their children’s gender expression: challenging or shaping interests, differential treatment, direct instructions, and modelling. The chapter considers how each of these plays out in the literature on parents of transgender children. The chapter also considers literature that has been criti...
Article
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The present study explores experiences of pregnancy loss via a questionnaire completed by a convenience sample of 48 Australian cisgender heterosexual men. The questionnaire included measures of: support following pregnancy loss, recognition of loss, perceived utility of help-seeking, perceived stigma attached to help-seeking, perinatal grief, and...
Article
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Background: Historically, transitioning gender was seen as precluding transgender people from having children in the future. However, there are now increased reproductive options available to transgender people, with such options also available to non-binary people (i.e., people whose gender is not exclusively male or female). These options include...
Article
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Research on embryo donation and receipt continues to grow, highlighting how specific national contexts shape views and experiences. The present paper reports on a qualitative study on embryo donation and receipt in Australia. Interviews were conducted with 15 participants: embryo donors and those seeking to donate (6), embryo recipients and those s...
Article
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Background: The perinatal period precipitates significant intra- and inter- personal changes. How heterosexual couples understand and account for such changes, however, has received relatively little attention. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were undertaken as part of a longitudinal study on planned first-time parenthood. This ar...
Article
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Background: Given the broader social contexts in which transgender people and their families live, the latter can be either an important source of support, or bring with them yet another source of discrimination. Whilst historically transgender people almost uniformly experienced discrimination from families of origin, recent research suggests that...
Article
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Background: Despite increased awareness of the psychological impact of pregnancy loss, a lack of recognition continues with regards to women’s experiences. Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in supporting women following a pregnancy loss, yet to date only a relatively small body of research has examined women’s experiences with...
Article
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This paper reports on a thematic analysis of open-ended questions about how humans respond to violence directed towards animals in the context of violent human relationships, derived from an Australian-UK survey of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. From the 137 responses, three major themes were identified (1) Animals are an important...
Article
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As growing numbers of gay men enter into the reproductive realm, so comes with this opportunities for the rewriting or revisioning of kinship ties. Given the hegemonic status of genetic matter in the context of kinship, however, it is perhaps unsurprising that amongst gay men there exist complex negotiations over how, and in what instances, genetic...
Article
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A significant body of research in the field of human-animal studies has focused on animals who live alongside humans within the home, with such animals often considered family members. To date, however, this research has focused almost exclusively on the experiences of heterosexual cisgender people, overlooking other diverse genders and/or sexualit...
Article
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Over the past three decades, a growing body of research has focused on experiences of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) among people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. Missing, however, has been a focus on what is known as “the link” between DVA and animal cruelty with regard to people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. The present article...
Article
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For heterosexual couples who enter into parenthood, having a first child often has a significant impact on the ways in which their lives are organised. Importantly, women typically take on the greatest share of household and care work, reflecting broader cultural norms in relation to gender. Drawing on case studies of four Australian heterosexual c...
Chapter
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This chapter draws on the concepts of cultural capital and intersectionality to elaborate an approach to mental health practice that is mindful of the relationships between race, gender, sexuality and class in the clinical setting. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a psychotherapist, three case examples are provided, which are considered t...
Article
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Understood as a type of identity-related abuse, gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the perpetrator attempts to convince someone that their thoughts, perceptions, or beliefs are mistaken. In the clinical context, gaslighting is often seen as part of a broader constellation of abuse and violence between adults. However it can also happen in...
Article
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Objective: To understand levels of support for differences between families in terms of sexuality and mode of family formation across three countries. Background: Previous research has found that attitudes towards family diversity continue to improve over time, although differences remain. Methods: Subjects were 1605 people living in Australia, the...
Article
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In accounting for their experiences of having a transgender child, cisgender parents often make recourse to atrope of loss to account for their journeys. A focus on loss is also evident in guides for parents and academic writing. In this article we seek to produce an alternate account of loss, one that shifts the focus away from transgender childre...
Chapter
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This chapter begins by first providing an overview of previous literature on the topic of transgender people and intimacy, before reporting on findings from an Australian qualitative study. Importantly, the findings suggest both that understanding transgender people’s experiences of intimacy cannot occur absent of an understanding of the effects of...
Chapter
This chapter explores how cisgender young people in schools engage with and understand transgender people, with a focus on how picture books featuring transgender characters may be used to create inclusion. The chapter first presents findings from an audit and subsequent analysis of a corpus of children’s picture books that feature transgender char...
Chapter
This chapter explores the role that school counsellors and psychologists have to play in supporting transgender people in schools, with a focus on transgender young people and their families. The chapter draws on findings from two Australian surveys: one focused on cisgender school counsellors and psychologists in regard to their capacity for worki...
Chapter
This chapter considers the important role of cisgender administrators and educators in ensuring the full inclusion of transgender people in educational contexts. The chapter first explores the roles of administrators in creating inclusive schools for transgender people, including an overview of existing analyses and guides. The chapter then turns t...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on cisgender parents of transgender children. It particularly problematises “loss” narratives, emphasising that feelings of “loss” relate to the context of cisgenderism and a loss of certitude, rather than relating to individual children themselves. After examining the previous literature that has explored the experience of cis...
Chapter
This chapter examines transgender parents and educators in the context of schools. There is likely to be an increasing visibility of transgender adults in schools, with growing numbers of transgender people having children after transitioning, parents who transition while their child(ren) are in school, young people transitioning prior to becoming...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on transgender young people, specifically in terms of sexual health needs and experiences. The chapter has a particular focus on the importance of inclusive sexuality education that addresses the needs of transgender young people, an area that continues to be overlooked in education research. Alongside providing an overview of...