Trans and Gender Diverse Community Track
Background : Gender expression- the way one expresses their internal gender identity- is an important construct for better understanding gender minority experiences, especially related to discrimination and health. While best practices for gender identity data collection are beginning to emerge, little has been done with respect to the measurement of gender expression. To date, no systematic review has assessed how gender expression is conceptualized or measured in health-related research.
Methods : We conducted a scoping review of literature utilizing the concept “Gender Expression”, via the Tulane University’s Primo central index search system, Google scholar, and the PsycInfo and Genderwatch data bases. The review included the following five key stages: (1) identifying the research question, (2) identifying relevant studies, (3) study selection, (4) abstracting and charting the data, and (5) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results. Eligibility criteria included studies that: included a conceptual definition or measurable model of gender expression or an adjacent concept, included research or were intended for a research audience, and were published in English.
Results : Our search identified 74 possible studies, from which 54 met eligibility requirements. The majority offered some conceptual definition of gender expression or an adjacent concept (i.e. gender nonconformity or gender presentation) though specific definitions ranged. Measureable models were offered less frequently; quantitative studies were more likely than qualitative to explicitly reference a measurable model, and measurement approaches varied greatly. Studies that included gender expression concepts were overwhelmingly focused on mental health and victimization experiences. Most did not offer an intersectional analysis about gender expression or other study outcomes.
Conclusions : As no standard means of measuring gender expression currently exist, our findings offer an overview of the variety of ways this concept is being conceptualized and operationalized. The work needed to standardize this concept and to develop best practices for measurement will be discussed.