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ERIC Number: EJ1155426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3759
Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Student Experiences in Christian Higher Education: A Qualitative Exploration
Wolff, Joshua R.; Kay, Theresa Stueland; Himes, H. L.; Alquijay, Jennifer
Christian Higher Education, v16 n5 p319-338 2017
Religion and spirituality are important in the lives of many transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals. Although TGNC students can make unique contributions to Christian colleges and universities (CCUs), many individuals who identify as both religious and TGNC report rejection from nonaffirming religious communities that view TGNC identities and expression as sinful or psychologically disordered. Additionally, previous research has suggested that TGNC college students experience disproportionately high rates of verbal and sexual harassment, threats, physical assault, and anti-TGNC messaging on college campuses. In order to better understand the experiences of TGNC students who attended nonaffirming CCUs, semistructured interviews were conducted with seven TGNC students and alumni regarding their gender identity, religion, spirituality, campus experiences, and perceptions of campus climate. Data analysis was completed using guidelines consistent with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Shaw, 2010). Findings revealed four major themes: (a) invisibility of TGNC individuals and identities on campus, (b) rejection within the college environment, (c) ambivalence and psychological conflict about integrating religion, spirituality, and gender identity, and (d) resilience and the importance of campus support systems. Recommendations for creating greater inclusion of TGNC students on CCU campuses are presented. This study also explores clinical considerations for mental health professionals and student services personnel employed at CCUs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A