Merle Huff http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3761-8579
Katie M. Edwards http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1888-7386
Victoria A. Mauer http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5566-5849
Date of this Version
Published in Journal of American College Health, 2023
Objective: This study examined cisgender and transgender and gender diverse (TGD) college students’ perceptions of gender-neutral bathroom availability across eight U.S. campuses, TGD students’ fear of harassment related to (lack of) availability of gender-neutral bathrooms, and the relation between fear of harassment and TGD students’ psychological distress.
Methods: Participants were 4,328 college students (4,195 cisgender, 30 binary transgender, 103 gender diverse) from eight U.S. institutions of higher education.
Results: The majority (84.2%) of TGD students and 34.6% of cisgender students perceived there were too few gender-neutral bathrooms on their campus. Further, TGD students’ fear of harassment related to a lack of availability of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus was positively associated with psychological distress (i.e., symptoms of depression and anxiety).
Conclusion: This study highlights the significance of increasing accessibility of gender-neutral bathrooms on campuses to help mitigate TGD students’ fear of harassment and psychological distress.