Attitudes towards trans persons: a comparison between mental health professionals and the general population

Lefteris Patlamazoglou, Madison Moore

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: Individuals who transition from their natal sex to their preferred gender identity violate the socially constructed ideas of gender roles. This often results in experiences of fear, discrimination, and violence. The current study aimed to investigate the attitudes toward people who identify as trans by comparing the gender ideologies (as measured by heteronormative attitudes) and transphobia in mental health professionals and the general population. Several hypotheses were made, including that there would be a positive relationship between heteronormative attitudes and transphobia, that personal contact with trans persons would be a moderator of this relationship and also reduce the levels of transphobia, and that mental health professionals would exhibit lower levels of transphobia than the general population. Method: The sample consisted of 454 Australian adults who responded to an online survey consisting of a demographic questionnaire, the Genderism and Transphobia Scale (Hill & Willoughby, 2005), the Heteronormative Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (Habarth, 2015), and a short survey regarding their personal contact with trans persons. Of the participants, 152 identified as mental health professionals (primarily psychologists, counsellors, social workers, and youth workers) and 302 identified as part of the general population. A between-groups design was employed and the data were analysed using correlational, comparative, and moderation statistical analyses. Findings: The results indicate that mental health professionals display lower levels of transphobia than the general population, that heteronormative attitudes are positively correlated with transphobia, and that personal contact reduces transphobia. Furthermore, in contrast to previous studies, there were no observable gender differences in levels of transphobia in this sample. Discussion: In the context of the existing literature, the results of this study indicate that transphobia in Australia is gradually reducing. Implications for maximising therapeutic outcomes in psychological practice with trans persons are discussed, including implications for professional development and for inclusive approaches. Finally, suggestions for further research in the area of attitudes toward trans persons and mental health professionals are made.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2019
EventEuropean Congress of Psychology 2019 - Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation
Duration: 2 Jul 20195 Jul 2019
Conference number: 16th


ConferenceEuropean Congress of Psychology 2019
CountryRussian Federation
Internet address

Cite this

Patlamazoglou, L., & Moore, M. (2019). Attitudes towards trans persons: a comparison between mental health professionals and the general population. 758. Abstract from European Congress of Psychology 2019, Moscow, Russian Federation.