Institutional cisnormativity and educational injustice: Trans children's experiences in primary and early secondary education in the UK

Horton, Cal. 2022. Institutional cisnormativity and educational injustice: Trans children's experiences in primary and early secondary education in the UK. British Journal of Educational Psychology, ISSN 0007-0998 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Background
Transgender children are known to face a wide range of barriers, difficulties and injustices at school. Few studies have focused on the educational experiences of trans pupils who socially transition at or before primary school, with no such studies in the UK.

Aims
To learn about the at-school experiences of transgender children who socially transitioned at or before primary school in the UK, listening to children's and parental accounts of navigating cisnormativity in UK primary and early secondary education.

Sample
The primary sample included 30 parents whose children had socially transitioned under the age of 11 in the UK. This sample was complemented with data directly from 10 of these trans children. The primary sample was accessed through six trans positive parenting groups in the UK, supplemented through snowball sampling.

Methods
Semi-structured interviews produced a rich and detailed qualitative data set, that was analysed through inductive thematic analysis.

Results
Three major themes are presented, highlighting experiences of (i) institutional cisnormativity in UK schools, (ii) a failure to protect trans children and (iii) evidence of educational injustice. The results demonstrate how institutional cisnormativity leaves trans pupils in unsafe educational environments, contributing to school drop-out and trauma.

Conclusions
Cisnormative attitudes normalize injustice, making it acceptable for trans children to lose access to education, or to experience trauma in school. Educators, schools and school leaders need to take action to protect trans children in our schools.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12540

Keywords:

children, cisnormativity, diversity, education, gender, inclusion, LGBT, primary, secondary, trans, transgender

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
29 July 2022Accepted
9 September 2022Published Online

Item ID:

32202

Date Deposited:

20 Sep 2022 10:25

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2022 10:35

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/32202

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