Using Intergroup Contact Theory to Reduce Stigma Against Transgender Individuals: Impact of a Transgender Speaker Panel Presentation


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Susan E. Walch, School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, The University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514.



Sexual minorities experience significant stigma and prejudice. Much research has examined sexual stigma and prejudice impacting gay and lesbian individuals, but limited research has examined other sexual minorities, such as transgender persons or individuals whose gender identity or expression is incongruent with their assigned gender or anatomical sex. Research has found that interpersonal contact with sexual minorities is associated with lower sexual stigma and prejudice. Intergroup contact theory predicts that interaction between groups can reduce stereotyping and improve intergroup relationships. Using a randomized crossover design, this study compared the impact of exposure to a transgender speaker panel vs. a traditional transgender lecture presentation on transphobia. Results indicated greater immediate reductions of transphobia following the transgender speaker panel than traditional lecture.