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Barriers, boundaries, and borders: an investigation into transgender experiences within medical institutions

Scull, Madison T (2019) Barriers, boundaries, and borders: an investigation into transgender experiences within medical institutions. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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As a population that has been often dismissed, neglected, discriminated against, and abused by medical institutions, the relationship between the transgender community and medicine has remained shrouded in silence until recent history. As a result of being forced to contend with transphobia, violence, and erasure, the transgender community in the United States suffers from tangible health disparities when compared to the health outcomes of the national adult population. This thesis addresses issues of boundary enforcement, gatekeeping, and Western ethnocentrism, which are problems that transgender people often experience in their interactions with healthcare. Each chapter addresses a different aspect concerning transgender experiences in healthcare in the United States by reviewing scholarship on these experiences, considering available evidence of health disparities in medicine, and exploring medical perspectives on the lives of trans individuals. This project contributes to trans studies via an investigation of some of the nuanced experiences trans individuals face in medical settings. Through this work I argue that scholars and activists must work to deconstruct harmful barriers, boundaries, and borders in medicine to improve the quality of and access to healthcare for transgender populations. The first chapter discusses the theory in transgender studies on transgender healthcare. The second chapter centers the experiences of trans individuals within healthcare institutions and discusses the health disparities that exist for transgender communities when compared to their cisgender counterparts. The third chapter looks at these topics from the perspective of medical practitioners and engages with
methods of communication that can help to bridge the chasms in the health disparities that exist between transgender and cisgender populations. This project works toward a future in which trans people are able to access compassionate, gender-affirming, quality healthcare within medical institutions that do not engage in harming transgender patients.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scull, Madison TMTS73@pitt.eduMTS73
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorOlson,
Committee MemberBeaulieu,
Committee MemberBrush,
Committee MemberKouri-Towe,
Date: 29 April 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 April 2019
Approval Date: 29 April 2019
Submission Date: 19 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Healthcare, Transgender, LGBTQIA, LGBTQIA Healthcare, Trans healthcare, Health Disparities, Medicine, Gatekeeping, Western ethnocentrism
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 16:22
Last Modified: 06 May 2019 15:52


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