Morality Politics and New Research on Transgender Politics and Public Policy

Donald Haider-Markel 1 , Jami Taylor 2 , Andrew Flores 3 , Daniel Lewis 4 , Patrick Miller 1 , and Barry Tadlock 5
  • 1 University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
  • 2 University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA
  • 3 American University, Washington, DC, USA
  • 4 Siena College, Loudonville, NY, USA
  • 5 Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA
Donald Haider-Markel, Jami Taylor, Andrew Flores, Daniel Lewis, Patrick Miller and Barry Tadlock

Abstract

Recent political debate over transgender military service and gendered bathroom use highlights a dramatic increase in salience over transgender issues in the US. In this essay, we examine a potential new front in the culture wars by reviewing recent empirical research in social science on the politics of transgender rights in the context of morality politics. Research on morality politics has often focused on LGBT rights, with an emphasis on gay and lesbian rights and little attention to transgender issues. We highlight the progress of research on transgender issues in the US, focusing on the study of attitudes about transgender people and rights, transgender rights in states and localities, and broader findings affecting transgender populations. Although there is ample research still needed, the current state of empirical social science on transgender issues has made great advancements in the past decade and shows that morality continues to shape LGBT politics and policy.

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