Transgender means a term denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender doesn’t correspond with their birth sex.
The term transgender was coined by psychiatrist John.F.Ollven in the year 1965, in his work sexual hygiene and pathology. In 1984 transgender community concept was developed in which transgender was used as an umbrella term. In 1985 Richard Elkins established the transgender archive at university of Ulster. In mid-2000 primary term transgender were used to denote men who transitioned from female to male and vice versa, later these terms were suppressed by terms trans men and trans women.
Transgender are the people who are excluded from the main stream of the community and once were deprived of basic civic rights. Families of these people will also degrade them and shoo them off from their homes as a part of prestige issue. So these people form their own community and stay together in a mutual understanding.
Most of the Transgenders have a very low status in society and they have very few employment opportunities, so they indulge themselves in begging to earn their livelihood. They also indulge themselves in prostituting to earn money. Especially in country like India these people have religious title like hijjras jogappas and so on. People insult them by lightly using these terms and try to bully them.
The times have been changed now and the government of India is coming up with new laws and policies for upliftment of this community. Some of the laws are section 377 act which ensures their safety by protecting them from physical and sexual abuse. So these communities are coming to main stream and achieving in different areas of the society like:
- India’s first trans lawyer – Satthyashree Sharmila
- India’s first trans police – prithika Yashini
- India’s first trans principal – Manabi Bhandopadyaya
- India’s first trans person to contest in election – Mumtaz
- India’s first trans MLA – Shabnam Mausi
- India’s first trans soldier – Shabi
In spite of policies and facilities reserved for this minority group not much is happening when it comes to the implementation. People even today ill-treat them and also harass them inhumanly. According 2011 census survey, statistics say that 4, 87,803 lakhs are classified as Transgenders and they are illiterates. This shows that these people are deprived of basic civic rights. Their occupation is begging or prostitution. They are deprived of healthcare facilities, economic stability and social status. They also lack respect and dignity in the society. Even today majority of the people are either afraid of them or they are ignorant about them. So it is vital to study the different attitude of people towards transgender community. Attitude is favorable or unfavorable opinion towards an issue event or a person. Attitudes are strongly related to behavior. Hence the project work focuses on development of psychometric tool to determine the attitude towards a transgender.
The basic structure of this psychometric tool is based on Bogardus social distance scale. This is a type of scale developed by Emory.S.Bogardus to empirically measure “people’s willingness to participate in social contacts of varying degrees of closeness with members of diverse social groups, such as racial and ethnic groups.” The degree of closeness is measured in terms of:
- As close relatives by marriage
- As my close personal friends
- As neighbors on the same street
- As co-workers in the same occupation.
This psychometric tool also has question based on this same pattern. This tool tries to understand the attitude of a common man towards transgender in all these areas. This type of items is formed in order to get a clear picture about how different people accept these people into mainstream of the society.