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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Community Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Gender Nonconformity

Presenter: Alexana Stavros
Authors: Alexana Stavros, Morgan Alfaro, Sarah Applegarth, Cole Hamblin, Orlando Rodriguez
Faculty Advisor: Julie Pynn
Institution: Southern Utah University

Gender, one’s innermost concept and perception of self, (Human Rights Campaign [HRC]) plays an important role in society as well as individual experience. Gender identity and attitudes are multifaceted and greatly shaped by social expectations of traditional expression of agentic (masculine) and communal (feminine) roles. A recent study (Wilson & Meyer, 2021) revealed that more of the population are gender nonconforming than previously believed, though these individuals are still unwelcome in many areas (“Survey LGBT” 2013). The purpose of this research is to determine whether growing up in a rural geographical area negatively affects attitudes towards gender nonconformity. We predict subjects who spent these formative years in urban areas are more likely to be open and accepting of gender nonconforming individuals, and those who primarily grew up in rural areas will be less so because those in rural areas have less exposure to diversity (Martin-Storey & August, 2016). We also predict females will be more accepting of gender nonconformity, based on the conclusions of (LaMar & Kite, 1998). Data gleaned from this study could illuminate whether exposure to diversity in urban settings promotes acceptance of gender nonconforming individuals. Acceptance and inclusion can positively impact safe spaces and overall wellness. Results are pending.