• Description

This report, Exploring How Disparities in Experiences of Violence and Substance Use Between Transgender and Cisgender Students Differ by Gender Expression, explores how a student's perceived gender expression intersects with their gender identity to inform health risk. A robust and growing set of evidence shows that transgender youth face higher rates of violence, substance use and other negative health outcomes. This report looks at both the rates of negative outcomes within transgender students across three categories of gender expression and also at the disparities (or gaps) between cisgender and transgender students across these categories. We use the categories "perceived feminine", "perceived androgynous" and "perceived masculine" to examine gender expression (see Figure 1 on page 6). We recognize that, with few exceptions, transgender perceived feminine youth are both most likely to experience health risks. Additionally, there are larger gaps between cisgender and transgender perceived feminine youth (compared to the gaps between cisgender and transgender perceived masculine youth or cisgender and transgender perceived androgynous students).

Previous research developed by Advocates for Youth details the profound health disparities androgynous students, and transgender students, and particularly transgender students of color, endure relative to their gender conforming and cisgender peers. This project extends the previous work and contributes to answering additional questions about how transgender identity and perceived gender expression interact to explain health risks in violence and substance use.