Survey on trans terminology

By , May 19, 2011 10:20 pm

I was at a trans discussion panel at the Center On Halsted tonight and one of the panel members was Jamison Green. He mentioned a survey on trans terminology that I thought I’d share:

Greetings! Ten years ago, we conducted a short survey of our community’s reactions to the use of descriptive terminology in the professional literature of gender identity issues. Basically, we were interested in reforming the literature so it could speak respectfully about transsexual and transgender persons. To do that, we wanted to find out which terms transsexual and transgender people liked, and which they didn’t like. The results of our study were reported at the 2001 scientific symposium of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (HBIGDA), and had an immediate impact on the hundreds of medical and social scientists who were present.

A lot has changed since 2001, and we thought it would be interesting to re-open the survey, collect new data, compare the results 10 years later with the original results, and present our analysis at the 2011 scientific symposium of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (formerly HBIGDA) this September.

We are asking community members to rate and give us their opinions of certain terms which have been used in the literature, and some of the terms put forth by the community itself, so we can communicate the community’s opinions to the members of WPATH and (we hope) more widely in a subsequent academic publication.

There are no physical or psychological risks associated with responding to this survey, and there are no age restrictions for respondents, though we caution participants that some terms offered for your evaluation may be offensive to you or other individuals. The survey has only 8 questions (though most questions have many options to choose from) and should take less than 20 minutes to complete. Please complete it all in one sitting – if you exit the survey before you complete it, your answers will not be saved. The survey is scheduled to close June 28, 2011, so please respond soon!

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the paper which will eventually come from this, you will be given an email address at the end of the survey so you can contact the researchers separate from your responses to this survey. Any communication you initiate with us will not be associated with your survey answers, and no identifying information will be retained. We will treat your email address as confidential and will use it only for distribution of the paper to you. Your answers to the survey also will be treated confidentially, and no data reported in our analysis will be traceable to you.

Here’s the link to the survey:

Thank you VERY MUCH for participating in this survey and helping us with our research!!

With Gratitude,
Jamison Green, Jason Cromwell, & Dallas Denny

I’m planning on taking it soon, and will let you know if I have any thoughts.

5 Responses to “Survey on trans terminology”

  1. sophia says:

    Just took it. Real problem was use of transman and transwoman without alternatives of trans man and trans woman, but might have been a deliberate experimental design thing.

  2. nix says:

    it’s a pretty odd survey, doesn’t include plain ‘trans’ as an option anywhere, iirc. it’s also kind of problematic to ask how much you dis/like a term like ‘bi-gender’ without giving context – i might not use it for trans people generally, but i know people who use it for themselves, so i ‘like’ it because it works for them… hm.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I agree with both of you. I put in the comments that I prefer trans to be an adjective (as in “trans man”) rather than part of the noun (as in “transman”). I also mentioned how stupid it was to not have the option of “I’d ask them which pronoun they’d prefer!” But I guess that’s why they’re doing the survey: to see what folks think about pronouns.

  4. RadDyke says:

    OMG you got to hear Jamison Green speak? *Intellectual swoon*

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