There are so many bad studies out there, studies full of ignorant questions, written by cissexist pathologizing researches I want to share one which isn’t.I’m not a huge fan of the phrase trans spectrum disorders, as it could suggest that genderqueer people are half trans, I still this this is decent research which is worth supporting.
My name is Jay Ledbetter and I am a graduate student at San Francisco
State University. I am working on my Master’s thesis in social
psychology under the supervision of Professor Chuck Tate in the
Department of Psychology. My thesis research tries to advance our
understanding of gender identity by exploring the similarities and
differences between people who have transgender spectrum identities
(viz. transgender and genderqueer identities) and people who have
cisgender identities (i.e., identify with their birth-assigned gender
category). The research is therefore designed in a trans-inclusive way
to help us discover how everyone experiences gender identity, and, as
a result, to help social and personality psychology become more trans-
inclusive in their approaches to designing surveys and collecting
information. I am writing to ask you to participate in my thesis
research by responding to the survey questions listed in the link
My advisor and I are painfully aware that most surveys in psychology
are not inclusive of—or even recognizing of—trans spectrum identities
because we ourselves have trans spectrum identities. Specifically, I
am genderqueer and Professor Tate is a transgender woman (who is also
genderqueer as butch-presenting). Thus, we do not see ourselves and
our experiences represented very well in the status quo of psychology
research. We are therefore personally as well as professionally
motivated to change the way psychology studies transgender and
genderqueer identities. Yet, we need your help to do this well. We
need our voices to be heard.
The study below is a quantitative survey, meaning that you must answer
a number of questions that require you to agree with statements on a
number scale, rather than providing narrative descriptions of your
experience as a transgender or genderqueer person. We know that some
people do not believe that trans spectrum identities can be adequately
captured by quantitative studies, and we respect this position.
Nonetheless, consider this: Psychology is among the most privileged
social sciences, especially in popular culture, and relies heavily on
quantitative information as described above. Consequently, having your
voice heard on the quantitative side helps everyone in the social
sciences (and eventually popular culture) gain a better understanding
of trans spectrum identities. If you routinely opt out of quantitative
studies, this decreases the amount and kind of quantitative
information we can see and report about—to other scientists and
popular press writers. As we indicated above, since we are trans-
identified ourselves, we have taken much time and effort to make sure
that our quantitative approach is as inclusive as it can be for our
identities. We need as many transgender and genderqueer voices as
possible in this area to create change.
To be most effective in our research efforts, we want respondents at
all levels of education, with varying sexual identities or
orientations, and with different life experiences. Accordingly, please
let friends, loved ones, and colleagues know about this study.
Everyone who takes the survey must be 18 years old or older.
If you choose to participate, no identifying information or names will
be collected. Thus, a participant’s name cannot be connected in any
way to the responses he/she/ze provides; stated differently, responses
are completely anonymous in this study. The research data will be kept
in secure, password-protected computers in Professor Tate’s research
lab. Only the researcher (Ledbetter), advisor (Tate), and trained
research assistants will have access to the data.
There is a minimal risk of discomfort or anxiety due to the nature of
the questions asked; however, the participant should answer only those
questions he/she/ze chooses, and can stop participation in the
research at any time.
By participating in this survey, you are helping researchers better
understand the full range of gender identity experiences, and where
the similarities in these experiences lie for trans-spectrum and
cisgender identities. Additionally, you are helping change the way
data are collected in social and personality psychology by having your
voice be heard as a respondent. The more voices we hear through these
responses, the more likely it is that other researchers take notice of
this approach and become more inclusive in the quantitative study of
gender identity in all social science fields. You will also have the
opportunity to leave anonymous comments about our research approach,
especially whether (and in what ways) it could be improved.
For the purposes of this study, the researcher asks that you or any
respondent complete the study only one time. The total time
commitment is approximately 1 hour and the entire survey is completed
If you would like to participate, please click the following link:
If you have any further questions about the study, you may contact the
researcher, Jay Ledbetter by email at email@example.com or you may
contact the researcher’s advisor, Professor Chuck Tate at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.338.2267.
Questions about your rights as a study participant, or comments or
complaints about the study, may also be addressed to the Office for
the Protection of Human Subjects at San Francisco State University,
via phone at 415-338-1093 or via email at email@example.com.
SPAMS Lab Manager
Social Psychology Graduate Student
San Francisco State University
Thank you Helen, thank you for doing work I should have done.
I worried when I saw the statistic of 23 years, it didn’t seem right, even with all the shit that trans people face, 23? that is huge, that is less than half the life expectancy of indigenous Australians, a group who suffer major oppression and substandard health care.
It reminds me of the overestimation of child sex trafficking, numbers quoted over and over with very little back up.
We need to do better than this, bad numbers lead to bad responses and we as activists and allies need to do better, we need to make sure that our numbers have good basis, and when they are guesses that we are clear that they are guesses.