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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Robert Mendelsohn


This study was designed to (1) identify the factors contributing to identity salience in transgendered populations; and (2) to determine the influence of identity salience on the interpersonal behaviors of cross gendered males. A sample of 233 transgendered males was collected from a larger online survey collected from 1997 to 2002. This research tested a variety of multivariate models in order to identity significant predictors of identity salience in transgendered communities. A primary assumption of this study was that the term "transgendered" was an umbrella term referring to a variety of individuals who experience some level of discomfort, all or some of the time with their birth gender designation or gender role. It was hypothesized that buffers to distress, personal distress, commitment, levels of commitment and community involvement were predictors of identity salience in transgendered populations. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the factors believed to contribute to the maintenance of transgendered identity salience. Analysis of the data V indicated the existence of two distinct groups consisting of (1) cross dressers; and (2) trans gendered individuals. As a result of these findings, separate structural models were constructed in order to test the significance of the predictors believed to represent the identity salience construct. Commitment to cross-gendered identity and identity conforming behavior were significant factors in the identity salience process for cross dressers while all hypothesized factors were significant in predicting identity salience for transgendered individuals. Findings from this analysis indicate the existence of an additional non-hypothesized relationship between personal distress and identity conforming behavior. Implications of this study suggest the need for further analysis of cross-gendered populations in order to determine the degree to which commitment and identity conforming behavior interact to explain the identity salience process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Transsexualism -- Psychological aspects
Cross-dressing - Psychological aspects
Identity (Psychology)




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