Beauty doesn’t always matter when you’re trans?
So it seems, with transgender people tend to be viewed as less attractive; and this is regardless of their actual appearance, according to “How Gender Identity and Transgender Status Affect Perceptions of Attractiveness” by Jessica M. Mao, M. L. Haupert and Eliot R. Smith and published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The study that tried to find evidence of transphobia on dating apps involved 319 cisgender, straight undergrads. The researchers presenting them 48 fake dating app profiles of the opposite sex. These profiles included a gender identity label and a photo.
The gender identity label was randomized, though, and could be cisgender, trans or nonbinary. For instance, an individual “profile” would be labeled as a transgender man for some of the women participating in the study, a cisgender man for others, and nonbinary for others.
The participants then rated the profiles for their attractiveness.
The study found that “cisgender, heterosexual college students report being less sexually attracted to others (represented by photos) who are labeled as trans or nonbinary, compared to cisgender.”
Quoted by PsyPost, study author Eliot Smith said that “this difference is not due to differences in physical appearance because we randomly presented gender identity labels with the same set of photos. The effect appears to represent a type of prejudice against individuals with non-cisgender identities.”
The effect was also particularly strong for male perceivers, and for women with traditional gender attitudes. Sexual and romantic attraction are not driven solely by sexed appearance; information about gender identity and transgender status also influences these assessments.
For the researchers, the results have important implications for theoretical models of sexual orientation and for the dating lives of trans people.