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.

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    • "However, most of the studies were from the USA and other high-income countries; we might expect to see even higher rates of violence in SGM in countries where homosexuality is criminalized. A study from the USA on violence in transgender persons assessed self-report surveys and needs assessments, hotline calls, social service records and police reports[60]. All these sources indicated that violence against transgender persons starts early in life, that they are at risk for multiple types and repeated incidents of violence , particularly sexual violence, and that this threat lasts throughout their lives. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual and gender minorities (SGM) include individuals with a wide range of sexual orientations, physical characteristics, and gender identities and expressions. Data suggest that people in this group face a significant and poorly understood set of additional health risks and bear a higher burden of some diseases compared to the general population. A large amount of data is available on HIV/AIDS, but far less on other health problems. In this review we aimed to synthesize the knowledge on the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, mental health conditions and violence experienced by SGM, based on available systematic reviews. We conducted a global review of systematic reviews, including searching the Cochrane and the Campbell Collaboration libraries, as well as PubMed, using a range of search terms describing the populations of interest, without time or language restrictions. Google Scholar was also scanned for unpublished literature, and references of all selected reviews were checked to identify further relevant articles. We found 30 systematic reviews, all originally written in English. Nine reviews provided data on HIV, 12 on other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), 4 on cancer, 4 on violence and 3 on mental health and substance use. A quantitative meta-analysis was not possible. The findings are presented in a narrative format. Our review primarily showed that there is a high burden of disease for certain subpopulations of SGM in HIV, STIs, STI-related cancers and mental health conditions, and that they also face high rates of violence. Secondly, our review revealed many knowledge gaps. Those gaps partly stem from a lack of original research, but there is an equally urgent need to conduct systematic and literature reviews to assess what we already know on the disease burden in SGM. Additional reviews are needed on the non-biological factors that could contribute to the higher disease burden. In addition, to provide universal access to health-care for all, more information is needed on the barriers that SGM face in accessing health services, including the attitudes of health-care providers. Understanding these barriers and the additional health risks they impose is crucial to improving the health status of SGM.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · International Journal for Equity in Health
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    • "Studies also show high levels of reported violence among young and low-income transgender people (Stotzer, 2009), suggesting that violence on the basis of transgender identity or expression often affects the most marginalized transgender subpopulations. Violence against transgender people is often perpetuated by someone known to the victim, including family members (Stotzer, 2009). Indeed, rejection by one's family of origin is common among transgender people and may be enacted through physical assault as well as through less overt means such as lack of support around gender expression or barring access to medical gender affirmation procedures (Factor and Rothblum, 2008; Grossman & D'augelli, 2006; Wren, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale Transgender people in the United States experience widespread prejudice, discrimination, violence, and other forms of stigma. Objective This critical review aims to integrate the literature on stigma towards transgender people in the US. Results This review demonstrates that transgender stigma limits opportunities and access to resources in a number of critical domains (e.g., employment, healthcare), persistently affecting the physical and mental health of transgender people. The applied social ecological model employed here elucidates that transgender stigma operates at multiple levels (i.e., individual, interpersonal, structural) to impact health. Stigma prevention and coping interventions hold promise for reducing stigma and its adverse health-related effects in transgender populations. Conclusion Additional research is needed to document the causal relationship between stigma and adverse health as well as the mediators and moderators of stigma in US transgender populations. Multi-level interventions to prevent stigma towards transgender people are warranted. DOI:
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Social Science & Medicine
    • "Trans people are at high risk for gender-related physical and sexual violence throughout their lives, with the types of hate crimes perpetrated against them being especially violent. Trans people also have found little support from authorities and in some cases further discrimination and violence (Nadal et al., 2014; Stotzer, 2009). Furthermore, having multiple minority statuses increases the likelihood of harassment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dualistic notions about gender and sexuality have permeated the field of couple and family therapy. These binary constructions have been limiting for everyone, especially those who fall outside the male/female dichotomy. This article examines the impact of these binary notions, especially on transgender and gender-creative individuals, couples, and families. Current theory and research in the field as they relate to gender identity, sexuality, and gender minority stress in couples and families are presented. Case examples are used to illustrate affirmative approaches to treatment issues such as coming out, safety, grief and loss, redefining relationships, and social/medical transitions that may arise for transgender or gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals, couples, and families. © 2015 Family Process Institute.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Family Process
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